The current chief justice of the Kansas Supreme Court, a former chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court, a former chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court and a former justice on the Montana Supreme Court have both come out against judicial elections in their states.
Kansas Chief Justice Lawton Nuss has come out against plans being considered by legislators to elect justices or have the governor appoint justices instead of keeping the state's 57-year-old merit selection system: "In Kansas, merit selection is a healthy competition that compares side by side the qualifications of numerous applicants. Their names and qualifications are made public, and the selection process itself is open for Kansans to see. Politics and its ever-increasing money play no role. But under the federal solution, only the name of the governor’s appointee is made known." He notes that voters get to directly play a role when voting on whether to retain justices.
In a piece published in the Montana Lawyer, former Montana Supreme Court Justice James C. Nelson says that he has changed his mind about electing judges. The $1.63 million raised in the last election cycle for the Supreme Court shows that going forward judicial elections will be "characterized by huge expenditures of dark money, attack ads, misleading mail stuffers, and the involvement of out of state money and organizations," Nelson writes. He notes that the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling lifting limitations on campaign expenditures by PACs, unions and other groups encourages unqualified attorneys to run for seats on the judiciary because they can play to "out-of-state dark money folks." In addition to changing Montana's constitution to select judges through a merit selection system, Nelson would require attorneys to have a decade of experience practicing in Montana courts.
In a piece published in the Dallas Morning News in January, Wallace B. Jefferson, Texas' former chief justice, and Barbara Pariente, former chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court, criticized the amount of special-interest funding being spent on judicial elections in the wake of the Citizens United ruling. They said judges should be selected by merit: "This method, used by 23 states to select their top judges, gives a nonpartisan commission the responsibility to evaluate the objective qualifications of judicial candidates and make recommendations to the governor for appointment. Some of these systems include retention elections, so that the voters can remove judges who have committed ethical improprieties."