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
In this report, we make recommendations for judicial discipline systems that are designed to achieve a balance between transparency and...
Publication
Judicial recusal in appropriate circumstances is essential to ensuring a judiciary that is qualified and impartial and that inspires public trust...
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

Public trust and confidence in our judiciary, and our judges, is vital. Yet, over the last several decades, that trust has been eroded. For people to...
Judicial performance evaluation (JPE) took center stage in the Fall/Winter 2017 issue of Voir Dire, the American Board of Trial Advocates’ magazine...
As part of the University of Denver’s Engaging Ideas series, IAALS Executive Director Rebecca Love Kourlis was interviewed about the importance of an...
Staff 
Executive Director
Executive Assistant to Rebecca Love Kourlis