The O'Connor Judicial Selection Plan

IAALS and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (Ret.) have identified a model for choosing, evaluating, and retaining judges that balances the need for fair and impartial courts with the need for public accountability and transparency.

The O’Connor Judicial Selection Plan consists of four elements:

  1. Judicial nominating commission
  2. Gubernatorial appointment
  3. Judicial performance evaluation
  4. Retention elections

IAALS offers research-based recommendations for structuring each stage of the process to encourage highly qualified individuals to apply for judgeships, assure that the best judicial candidates are selected and retained, and engender support for the judiciary from the other two branches of government.

The Plan in Action

Judicial Nominating Commission

How It Works | States with Nominating Commissions

Gubernatorial Appointment

How It Works | States with Gubernatorial Appointment

Judicial Performance Evaluation

How It Works | States with Performance Evaluation

Retention Election

How It Works | States with Retention Elections