How are state judges selected in Texas? Discuss two different methods used in
other states for selecting judges. What are the arguments for each of the selection
methods you discussed? Do you think that judges should be elected or appointed?
Explain your reasoning. How informed do you think the public is about judicial elections
and judicial candidates? If you were voting for a judge, would you research the
candidates and their qualifications or would you vote based on party affiliation?
How state judges are selected in Texas
The Texas Commission on Judicial Selection (TCJS) was established in 2019 by the 86th Legislature through House Bill 3040. The commission was charged “to study and review the method by which statutory county court judges, including probate court judges; district judges; appellate and Supreme Court justices are selected for office.” Currently, Texas utilizes partisan elections for all judicial offices. However, the Texas Constitution allows for appointment by the Governor or county officials and confirmation by the Senate for interim court vacancies. Changing the judicial selection method has been attempted numerous times throughout the state`s history, with many advocating a change to a merit selection system.