Appointive vs. Elective Methods of Judicial Selection

Las Vegas Lawyers Chapter

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The blue ribbon Article VI Commission is studying Nevada’s judicial system and is reportedly leaning toward a Missouri-type plan for Nevada: a nominating commission with gubernatorial appointment and subsequent retention election. Are appointive methods of judicial selection necessarily superior to the elective ones? Among elective methods, are partisan elections better at securing accountability and competitive elections than nonpartisan ones? On the other hand, do they sacrifice judicial independence? Does the national model of presidential nomination and senatorial advice and consent provide a model worth imitating? Does retention election strike the appropriate balance between accountability and independence, or is it merely a means of securing voter approval?

Panelists include:

  • Introduction: Matthew Saltzman,  Kolesar & Leatham and Las Vegas Lawyers Chapter President
  • Prof. Michael Dimino, Widener University School of Law
  • Prof. Stephen Presser, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Hon. Jay S. Bybee, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit -- Moderator