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Series

SSRN

Columbia Law School

2007

Judges

Articles 1 - 3 of 3

Full-Text Articles in Law

The Best Defense: Why Elected Courts Should Lead Recusal Reform, Deborah Goldberg, James J. Sample, David Pozen Jan 2007

The Best Defense: Why Elected Courts Should Lead Recusal Reform, Deborah Goldberg, James J. Sample, David Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

In recent years, we have seen an escalation of attacks on the independence of the judiciary. Government officials and citizens who have been upset by the substance of judicial decisions are increasingly seeking to rein in the courts by limiting their jurisdiction over controversial matters, soliciting pre-election commitments from judicial candidates, and drafting ballot initiatives with sanctions for judges who make unpopular rulings. Many of these efforts betray ignorance at best, or defiance at worst, of traditional principles of separation of powers and constitutional protections against tyranny of the majority.

The attacks are fueled in part by the growing influence ...


The Irony Of Judicial Elections, David Pozen Jan 2007

The Irony Of Judicial Elections, David Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Judicial elections in the United States have undergone a dramatic transformation. For more than a century, these state and local elections were relatively dignified, low-key affairs. Campaigning was minimal; incumbents almost always won; few people voted or cared. Over the past quarter century and especially the past decade, however, a rise in campaign spending, interest group involvement, and political speech has disturbed the traditional paradigm. In the "new era," as commentators have dubbed it, judicial races routinely feature intense competition, broad public participation, and high salience.

This Article takes the new era as an opportunity to advance our understanding of ...


Making Judicial Recusal More Rigorous, James J. Sample, David Pozen Jan 2007

Making Judicial Recusal More Rigorous, James J. Sample, David Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

The right to an impartial arbiter is the bedrock of due process. Yet litigants in most state courts face judges subject to election and reelection – and therefore to majoritarian political pressures that would appear to undermine the judges' impartiality. This tension has existed for as long as judges have been elected (and, to some extent, for as long as they have been appointed, in which case campaigns often take a less public but equally politicized form).

In recent years, however, this tension has become more acute. Today, state courts around the country increasingly resemble – and are increasingly perceived to resemble ...