The Brennan Center engaged in a multi-year research project taking a fresh look at judicial selection in the states. We studied how states currently choose their judges, reviewed the extensive legal and social science literature on judicial selection, spoke to dozens of experts and stakeholders, and considered reform proposals from bar associations, legislatures, and scholars. In Choosing State Judges: A Plan for Reform, the Brennan Center urges states to do away with state high court elections in favor of a publicly accountable appointment process, and to require that justices serve for a lengthy single term.
This resource page gathers relevant research, data, and Brennan Center publications that take a closer look at state judicial selection and form the groundwork for the Brennan Center’s proposals.
See the Brennan Center's research and publications on building a fairer and more inclusive judiciary, including research on judicial selection, Judicial Nominating Commissions, diveristy on the bench, judicial recusal, and more.
The Brennan Center's interactive map illustrates state judicial selection trends across the country.
The Brennan Center's Buying Time analysis examines the sponsorship, content, and costs of televised state supreme court campaign ads.
These data sources provide more info about the courts, including spending in judicial elections and diversity on the bench.