I know of 2 common ways to fill judicial openings. One is by appointment, and the other is by election. I’m not real fond of either option.
Election - The idea of a judge running in a popularity contest (and let’s be honest, lots of election are more about popularity than about ability) bothers me. Add to that the fact that it’s a lot of work to suss out enough info, pre-election, to make a educated choice, and election judges seems like a bad idea.
Appointment - bad for a different set of reasons. “I’ll appoint judges that think just like me” or “I’ll appoint you if you vote my way” or “I owe you one, here’s your bench seat”. It’s way to easy to get judges appointed for all the wrong reasons.
So how do we get qualified, balanced, open-minded people in these positions?