Is the process we use for selecting judges broken at both the federal and the state level? Acrimony in federal judicial selection intensified with the Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas Hearings, escalated when Republicans delayed some Clinton nominees, and then the confirmation process fell apart completely under President George W. Bush as Senate Democrats refused to hold hearings on nominees for years or filibustered them on the floor of the Senate. This panel will examine what, if anything, can be done to repair the federal judicial appointment process. It will also consider the longstanding debate at the state level over election versus appointment of state judges. Is merit selection an answer, or would it surrender the last vestiges of democratic control over the judiciary to a special interest trial lawyer elite? Audio and video recorded on November 20, 2008.
9:30 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.
Showcase Panel I: Judicial Selection: Federal and State
Prof. Meryl J. Chertoff, Sandra Day O’Connor Project on the State of the Judiciary, Georgetown University Law Center
Prof. William K. Kelley, Notre Dame Law School
Prof. William P. Marshall, University of North Carolina School of Law
Hon. Harold F. See, Jr., Supreme Court of Alabama
Moderator: Hon. Diane S. Sykes, United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit