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Any system for selecting judges must be legitimate, and it will not be perceived as legitimate if it excludes certain members of the bar or if it makes it difficult for different groups to get its members on the bench. For an appointive system1 to be perceived as legitimate, it must ensure that diversity is considered in nominating candidates and in appointing judges. This Article will examine the different measures that states, with a particular focus on New Mexico, have adopted in order to enhance diversity in their appointive systems and then propose ways to structure an appointive system that gives due consideration to concerns about diversity. This Article concludes that an appointive system should be designed to require consideration of diversity in the composition of nominating commissions and in the evaluation of applicants. In addition, an appointive system should include provisions that make the process transparent, so that it can be monitored to see if the process is fair in providing lawyers from all minorities and genders a fair chance of becoming a judge. Finally, the system must provide for accountability by providing means to ensure compliance with the diversity and transparency requirements.

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Fordham Urban Law Journal



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Law Commons



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