Date of Graduation

Spring 2015

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Major

Political Science

Research Sponsor

Dr. James McHugh

First Reader

Philip Marcin

Second Reader

Dr. Nancy Marion

Abstract

There is widespread debate among politicians and academics as to the effectiveness and appropriateness of the merit system of judicial selection. Much of the literature on this subject is dedicated to the effects of the merit system after it has been adopted. The purpose of this paper was to examine the effects of certain political factors that may have created a political environment conducive to the adoption of the merit system. In this paper, three hypotheses were postulated and subsequently tested. The results of each test, while not as conclusive as anticipated, confirmed each of the hypotheses. The first conclusion of this study was that states are more likely than not to have the same party in control of both houses of the state legislature. The second conclusion was that states that adopted the merit system experienced a smaller amount of majority-party change in both houses of their legislatures prior to the adoption of the merit system than states that did not adopt the merit system. The final conclusion was that most states are more likely to adopt the merit system when they are bordered by other states that have the merit system.

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