By Austin Graham
Among the states, a relative variety exists in the methods employed for selecting state court judges, including partisan elections, nonpartisan elections, gubernatorial appointment, merit-selection systems, and legislative appointment. Out of these, merit-selection systems are the most popular, with over twenty-five states adhering to this process. Judicial elections are the second most common scheme with at least twenty-one states utilizing either partisan or nonpartisan elections to choose their state court judges. The least common system is legislative appointment; only Virginia and South Carolina delegate appointment of the judiciary to state legislators.