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Abstract

This Article demonstrates that merit selection is functioning commendably in Arizona and, for the most part, provides the public with a judicial selection process far more informative and generally superior to “traditional elections.” Part I of this Article sketches the history of Arizona’s merit selection of judges and its previous state-wide judicial election system. Part II discusses and analyzes attacks on merit selection and, in addition, assesses the effect of the Judicial Performance Review program initiated in 1992 to enhance the efficacy of the merit selection system. Finally, Part III describes the current status of merit selection in Arizona and offers some fresh perspectives on the value of merit selection, with suggestions to assure its preservation in Arizona and its implementation elsewhere. The Article concludes that merit selection, while not a perfect system, is operating commendably and has significant advantages over a system of traditional, partisan or non-partisan elections.

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