Hugh D. Spitzer and William S. Bailey, Is Washington Ready for Merit Selection of Judges, 35 Wash. St. B. News 66 (1981), https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/faculty-articles/788
judicial selection, Washington State
In 1980, Seattle established a judicial merit selection process for the Seattle Municipal Court, based on an approach used in many other jurisdictions and by the federal government under President Carter. The Seattle plan represents the first time a merit selection commission of lawyers and lay people has been used for nonfederal appointments in Washington. The two individuals subsequently appointed to the Seattle Municipal Court have gone through one of this state's most rigorous judicial selection processes.
In this article, we will review how judges are presently selected in this state, the various methods of choosing judges in other jurisdictions and then discuss Seattle's experience with "merit selection." Then we will suggest the extent to which merit selection might be applied to other judgeships in Washington.