Our sister think tank in Missouri, the Show-Me Institute, has a recent study on merit selection and other methods of selecting judges. Their sole measure for the quality of the courts is the Institute for Legal Reform’s State Liability Systems Ranking Study.
They find, to the support of advocates of merit selection, that the “Missouri plan” produces a better judicial system (or at least state that have adopted a Missouri plan have a better judicial system) than states with partisan elections.
Of course, they find find that every system of judicial selection provide a better court system than partisan elections – include the most simple reform, nonpartisan elections. Since most advocates of merit selection point the notion of “getting political parties out of judicial elections”, and given that both party chairs support merit selection, wouldn’t nonpartisan election of judgest accomplish that goal?