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.

IAALS has been working to improve and expand judicial performance evaluation programs since our founding in 2006. One of the major challenges these...
In 33 states and the District of Columbia, judicial nominating commissions play a part in selecting at least some judges. States have adopted...
IAALS and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (Ret.) have identified a model for choosing, evaluating, and retaining judges.
Judges in the U.S. are selected through a variety of methods. We promote models that emphasize qualifications and limit political considerations.
The judicial nominating commission is the key to commission-based appointment, or “merit selection,” of state court judges.
We are at the forefront of efforts to improve and expand programs for evaluating the performance of state and federal judges.

Recent Blog Posts

Implicit bias can obstruct the goal of fair, trusted, and accountable courts, and many groups have recognized how such unconscious perceptions can...
This election year, supreme court justices are on the ballot in 32 states, so chances are they’re on the ballot in your state. Yet, voter...
On September 17, 1787, the Framers signed the United States Constitution. The day is observed by some lawyer and judge groups but, unfortunately,...
Manager, Quality Judges Initiative
Executive Assistant to Rebecca Love Kourlis