Pennsylvania Republicans' effort to impeach five of their state's supreme court justices is only the latest vivid example of a concerted attack by state legislatures on courts' authority and independence.
The manual focuses on simple changes that can strengthen the applicant pool and candidates selected for judgeships. Recognizing the already-heavy workload of federal courts, it outlines best practices recommended by an advisory committee.
Amid the Trump administration's continued attacks on the federal judiciary, there has been a quieter political push targeting state courts. This roundup looks at laws from state legislatures that pose the biggest threat.
Partisan rancor and an arms race of special interest spending in judicial elections reached new heights this cycle, as the record for TV spending by outside groups in state supreme court races was shattered.