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date: 05 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Most judges in the United States retain their judgeships through periodic popular elections. In recent years, these judicial elections have become more salient, with high-profile television advertising becoming commonplace. This chapter discusses the effects of judicial elections, particularly in an age of salient campaigning, on the choices judges make. It reviews existing findings about the influences other institutions of state government, interest groups, and the public have on judges, before discussing the effects of high-profile judicial elections on the information available to voters and the institutional legitimacy of the judiciary. Throughout, the chapter discusses the normative controversies inherent in the use of judicial elections as well as potentially fruitful avenues for future inquiry.

Keywords: judicial elections, judicial selection, state courts, legitimacy, judicial decision-making, courts and public opinion

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