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Judicial Selection on Trial: An Empirical Analysis of the Boons and Banes of Various Statewide High Court Selection Methods Open Access

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The selection process for determining who represents the American people in their statewide legislatures and executive mansions is relatively standardized. Though ballots can differ between states, save for a few areas that embrace ranked choice voting, the person with a plurality of the votes is generally chosen for the office. However, no such standardization exists when it comes to selection methods for statewide judiciaries. Indeed, four methods of selection (competitive election, executive appointment, merit selection, and legislative appointment) are in use in different states today. What is more, there is no clear scholarly consensus as to which method performs best. The aim of this research project is to conduct, through regression analysis and other means, an empirical study that helps determine which method of selection is "ideal" given the criteria established through a thorough review of currently available literature. By compiling various datasets into one, and by then analyzing this dataset, the project seeks to ad important empirical data to a field that, to this point, has been characterized more by qualitative research than quantitative.

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