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A demand for judicial reform and the approach a state Supreme Court justice takes in order to attain office has changed over the years In the political arena an emergent debate has risen on this very topic and stands as a growing dispute Should a State Supreme Court Justice be elected or appointed and what is the pitfall of each Fair and unbiased decision making is in jeopardy activists call to abolish political elections and seek judges to be appointed based upon merit as an alternative Additionally it is argued that appointments should originate from a nonpartisan panel Grisham 2008 Throughout the United States a change has developed within the process of how states allow a Supreme Court Justices to attain a seat upon the bench each state making their own rules regarding the process According to the American Bar Association the state high courts also called State Supreme Courts thirty-eight states have some type of judicial election Among these seven have partisan elections fourteen have nonpartisan elections seventeen have uncontested retention elections and twelve grant life tenure or use reappointment of some type for their highest courts Carp Manning Stidham 2002 Almost ninety percent of all state judges must face voters to maintain their seats on the bench Streb 2007 Among these three types of election partisan nonpartisan and retention elections each differ within themselves States may elect to use a specific avenue of a mixture of election methods or simply combine them for instance Utah elects to use a system where Supreme Court judges are appointed by the Governor and then confirmed by the Senate After this process Utah judges are then subject to uncontested retention elections after initial appointment to maintain their status Streb 2007 In theory partisan elections are no different from president or congressional elections Within these capacities a political party nominates a candidate who then will run under the partys name Because judges are supposed to be above
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