University of Denver

Two New Reports Coming Soon from Our Quality Judges Initiative

Former Senior Director

In the coming weeks, we will release two major publications. The first is Cornerstones of State Judicial Selection: Laying the Foundation for Quality Court Systems and Judges. This report begins by describing desired attributes of court systems and individual judges that were identified by the diverse group of stakeholders who attended our February 2012 Roundtable on Judicial Selection, and then lays out “cornerstones” that may be incorporated into any judicial selection system to achieve these desired attributes. Our hope is that we can build consensus around our aspirations for our courts and encourage states to assess their selection methods from that perspective.

The second publication, Ensuring a Level Playing Field in Evaluating Judicial Performance, examines whether—as some have claimed—women and minority judges are rated lower than their Caucasian male counterparts in performance evaluations and are thus placed at a disadvantage with voters who use evaluation results in casting retention votes. To the extent that small disparities are found for some performance criteria, the report offers recommendations and resources—including model questionnaires—for minimizing any role that implicit biases may play in evaluating judges and informing voters.