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State of Washington

Judicial Selection in the States: Washington

Overview

News

A plan (HB 1303) to revamp Colorado s Judicial Performance Evaluation system is set for a vote by the House this week. The plan would...

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An effort to improve voter education when it comes to judicial elections in California has cleared the Assembly Judiciary Committee. AB 1463 as amended creates...

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A constitutional amendment discussed here and here to give Delaware s governor and senate more time to consider judicial nominations cleared its final hurdle. With...

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Examines successful judicial selection reform efforts in six states, discussing...

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There are four levels of courts in Washington--the supreme court, the court of appeals, the superior court, and the district and municipal courts. The district and municipal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. Washington judges are selected in nonpartisan elections. Washington is one of only three states in which a majority of the members of the high court are women.

Prior to 2006, Washington was one of only four states without limits on campaign contributions to judicial candidates, but in the spring of that year the legislature applied the same contribution limits to judicial candidates that were in place for other candidates. Nonetheless, 2006 was a recordbreaking year for fundraising by supreme court candidates in Washington, leading some reform groups to call for public financing of judicial elections or a move to merit selection.