Department of Justice Judicial Selection

Upon taking a look at the methods used in the United States by the Department of Justice for judicial selection, what is truly remarkable is that various methods have been used over the years. At present, different methods are used at both the federal and state levels. For example, at the federal level the Department of Justice gives the President of the United States the privilege of nominating judges; the Senate must confirm the President's nominations by a majority vote. Now, when talking about judge selection at the state level, it must be said that the process is not quite as simple given the fact that states can choose between different systems, which can be grouped into five major categories: gubernatorial appointment (the governor appoints the judges directly); legislative election (judges are chosen by the legislature); partisan election (voters choose between party nominees in general elections); nonpartisan election (voters choose judges in a general election); Missouri Plan (a commission creates a short list of nominees; the governor chooses from that list).

Thus far it has been made clear that the systems used, both at the federal and state levels, are different; these differences, however, are only observable in theory, but in practice, there is no way to either observe, or measure, such differences. Why? Because in the end, the procedure through which judges are appointed remains invariable; the Department of Justice, in the end is only concerned with political accountability, not with justice independence. In other words, the United States has a judiciary system that is conditioned by politics; parties elect judges that share their ideologies (and block the appointment of those that do not), political favors are given (and taken) in exchange for appointments, and in the end the result is that the United States' legal system works to support political agendas (the defense of the laws themselves, and the quality and knowledge of those appointed as judges with what has to do with laws, are matters of secondary importance).

Justice and politics are in fact related, but they are two fundamentally different institutions, and as such, it should not happen that one uses (abuses even) the other in order to satisfy its own needs and wants. Justice was created by man to watch over, to defend and guarantee, the preservation of his rights and liberties, despite of what such defense might do to politics or party interests, for that matter. Furthermore, it is important to keep in mind that judiciary appointments, both at the federal and state level (both under the watchful eye of the Department of Justice), should be performed using the same system. Why? Ultimately, because regardless of it being a Supreme Court Justice appointment, or a municipal court judge appointment, justice must be exercised in the same way (with the same rigor and efficiency).

Justice is a social institution that man created hundreds of years ago, when societies were first set up; given its important for the maintenance of the social establishment, justice has grown and developed over time, but its development has not been without problems. Justice and politics are two separate matters; in order to have effectiveness and justice in the exercise of the law, it is important to establish a new system, one that is homogeneous (for all levels of justice) and that is independent from the other branches of government. This is a task that the Department of Justice will need to see completed before justice can truly be served objectively and righteously.
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Larry Louie L. Maraggay