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Who We Elect: Judges

52 minutes

How do those adorned in Black robes make it to the bench? Some judges are appointed but some also appear on our ballots. In another installment of our Who We Elect series we discuss the elections of judges, who funds their campaigns, lack of diversity in state supreme courts and how we should evaluate judicial candidates.

Our Guest

Alicia Bannon is the managing director of the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program. She leads the Center’s Fair Courts Project, where she directs research, advocacy, and litigation to promote a fair judicial system. Bannon has authored several nationally recognized reports and articles on judicial selection, access to justice, judicial diversity, and government dysfunction, and her writing has been featured in the New York Times, Atlantic, and Time, among other outlets.

Bannon was previously an adjunct professor at NYU School of Law, where she taught the Brennan Center Public Policy Advocacy Clinic, and at Seton Hall Law School, where she taught a course in professional responsibility and legal ethics. Prior to joining the Brennan Center, Bannon was a John J. Gibbons Fellow in public interest and constitutional law at Gibbons P.C. in Newark, New Jersey, where she engaged in a wide range of public interest litigation within New Jersey and nationally. Bannon was also previously a Liman Fellow and counsel in the Brennan Center’s Justice Program.

Bannon received her JD from Yale Law School. She clerked for Hon. Sonia Sotomayor in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Hon. Kimba M. Wood in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. She graduated from Harvard College summa cum laude with a degree in social studies. Prior to law school, she worked in Kenya and Uganda, managing impact evaluations of education and health interventions, and at the Center for Global Development in Washington, DC.

Reading List

Brennan Center for Justice Fair Courts Project - link
Elected or Appointed: History of Judicial Selection in the U.S. - Harvard Law Today
Methods of Judicial Selection - Ballotpedia
Judicial Elections Portal - Ballotpedia
Money in Judicial Elections - Brennan Center for Justice

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