Quality Judges

How does someone become a judge in the United States? The answer varies from state to state and sometimes court to court. And, some methods for selecting state court judges are more effective than others in choosing judges who are qualified and impartial, and who inspire public trust in our courts. The Quality Judges Initiative at IAALS is dedicated to promoting models for choosing, evaluating, and retaining judges that preserve these qualities, ensure public accountability, and keep politics from undermining the critical role of our judiciary.

Featured 
Publication
Judicial recusal in appropriate circumstances is essential to ensuring a judiciary that is qualified and impartial and that inspires public trust...
Publication
Transparent Courthouse Revisited: An Updated Blueprint for Judicial Performance Evaluation offers a menu of recommended practices and tools for...
Project
IAALS and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (Ret.) have identified a model for choosing, evaluating, and retaining judges.
Project
Judges in the U.S. are selected through a variety of methods. We promote models that emphasize qualifications and limit political considerations.
Project
The judicial nominating commission is the key to commission-based appointment, or “merit selection,” of state court judges.
Project
We are at the forefront of efforts to improve and expand programs for evaluating the performance of state and federal judges.

Recent Blog Posts

Late last week, tens of thousands of Polish citizens took to the streets—and citizens around the world took to social media—to protest three...
Questions about when judges should recuse themselves from hearing cases—usually because a party perceives their ability to be impartial to be in...
Do the methods by which states choose their appellate judges result in benches with different characteristics? A new study concludes that the most...
Staff 
Manager, Quality Judges Initiative
Executive Assistant to Rebecca Love Kourlis