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Becoming a Judge: Report on the Failings of Judicial Elections in New York State (From Government Ethics Reform for the 1990s; The Collected Reports of the New York State Commission on Government Integrity, P 270-301, 1991, Bruce A Green, ed. -- See NCJ-130587)

NCJ Number
Date Published
32 pages
This analysis of the judicial selection system in New York State concludes that the State constitution should be amended to establish an appointive system for the Selection of all Supreme Court judges and judges of courts of limited jurisdiction.
The State currently uses appointive as well as elective system; judges are elected to the Supreme Court and many other courts. In addition, the laws provide a variety of methods both for appointing and for electing judges. The judicial elections are so tied to the interests of political party organizations that they clash with the ideal of an independent and nonpartisan judiciary. These elections subordinate judicial values to political favoritism, thereby inviting undue influence over judges and threatening public confidence in the system's integrity. The current system should be replaced by one in which executive discretion over appointments is significantly constrained, the nominating commission should reflect a broad spectrum of community interests and be decentralized, and the work of the nominating commission is subject to public scrutiny. Specific recommendations and footnotes