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State of Washington

Judicial Selection in the States: Washington

Overview

News

The Montana House State Administration Committee yesterday approved a bill to require judges recuse from cases due to campaign contributions. Under HB 157 as approved...

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A plan to require Wyoming judicial nominating commission members to be subject to senate confirmation appears to have died. Wyoming s top courts use a...

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This is proving to be an unprecedented year in terms of the number of efforts to either switch from partisan to nonpartisan judicial elections or...

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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.