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Article Title

Book Review

Authors

Abstract

Charles Blackmar reviews Richard A. Watson and Rondal G. Downing’s 1969 publication: The Politics of the Bench and the Bar. The authors undertake to answer the difficult question of whether judges appointed under the plan are "better" than those chosen in partisan elections. The study employs five statistical compilations as follows: (1) lawyer evaluation of quality; (2) lawyer evaluation of impartiality; (8) standing in bar polls; (4) standing in popular vote in retention; and (5) affirmance-reversal record. The authors concede that the use of the last mentioned factor may be subject to question since the judge who is too afraid of reversal may be lacking in initiative. They do not use another factor which other students of judicial merit have employed-the number of cases disposed. The explanation is that "quality" is more important than "quantity." Yet the volume figure might have been helpful as an additional factor, for ability to move the docket is important.

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