This Article is directed at the ongoing discussion taking place in many states and among members of the bench and bar about whether states that elect judges should switch to appointment in light of White. The author argues that states should resist what he regards as the Court's heavy-handed dicta denouncing judicial elections in White. Rather than accede to the pressure to shift from an elective to an appointive system-pressure that is being felt in several states- the author contends that states should regard the White decision as an opportunity to engage in a thorough and far-reaching review of judicial selection. Before presuming that judicial elections ipso facto cannot be reconciled with the ideal of judges as independent, impartial decision-makers, states should seek ways to improve their methods of judicial selection in order to improve judicial decision-making. States with judicial elections should be prepared to drastically transform the way judges are elected to address what I concede are significant failings in most judicial election systems. Principal among these deficiencies, in my view, is the failure of judicial elections to adequately address the lack of racial diversity on the nation's courts.
Sherrilyn A. Ifill,
Through the Lens of Diversity: The Fight for Judicial Elections After Republic Party of Minnesota V. White,
Mich. J. Race & L.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mjrl/vol10/iss1/3