EYEONTHEBENCH is a nonpartisan online resource created for the purpose of informing and educating the public about Nebraska's judges. An informed electorate ensures judicial accountability and encourages participation in the judicial retention process.

Our pages will be updated and survey results available by October.
BOOKMARK OUR PAGES FOR USE CLOSER TO NOVEMBER ELECTION

Voters decide if a judge stays on the bench. How does a judge become a judge? Nebraska uses the merit selection method of appointing judges. When a judicial vacancy occurs, lawyers submit their names for consideration to the judicial nominating commission. This commission holds a public hearing and the candidates may speak on their own behalf. The public may speak for or against any candidate. The commission submits the names of at least two qualified candidates to the Governor who will make the appointment. A newly appointed judge is subject to a retention vote at the first general election occurring more than three years after his or her appointment. Every judge is then subject to a retention vote every six years. If voters choose not to retain the judge, the judge is removed from office and the vacancy is filled through the same appointment process.
Voting promotes accountability. Involving the public in the evaluation of judges promotes confidence. Some states appoint commissions comprised of attorneys, non-attorneys and judges who then conduct surveys of court users: attorneys, litigants, jurors, law enforcement personnel, other judges, etc., on such topics as integrity, legal competence, communication skills, temperance, punctuality, administrative skills, case-progression, rates of reversal on appeal, and continuing education. The Nebraska Bar Association provides a lawyer survey but the survey is the opinion of an unsubstantiated number of lawyers. Nebraska does not have an evaluation process that involves the public. Voters have little information to consider when they cast their vote. EYEONTHEBENCH is dedicated to gathering relevant information and providing a forum for the public's comments and opinion.
An effective retention system should foster public participation in the judicial branch of government that is in some way comparable to public participation in the executive and legislative branches of government. Although all three branches of government should be considered ostensibly co-equal, and although each branch of government plays an important role in the system of checks and balances that ensures efficient operation of the others, the public generally does not seem to understand its role in ensuring quality in the judicial branch like it does in ensuring quality in the other two branches. Inasmuch as the public should rightly demand a role in ensuring quality in the judicial branch, an effective retention system should foster meaningful public participation.
John Irwin, Daniel Real; ENRICHING JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE: SEEKING TO IMPROVE THE RETENTION VOTE PHASE OF AN APPOINTIVE SELECTION SYSTEM
Be an informed and involved voter! EYEONTHEBENCH won't tell you how to vote.  EOB provides this information so that you can decide. EOB will continually update these pages.  We encourage you to research your judges on your own.
Know your judges There are 145 judges in the state of Nebraska. Each county is part of a Judicial District. Your judicial district dictates which judges you can vote for. There are three judicial district maps, one each for County judges, District court judges and Supreme Court and Appellate court judges. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Worker's Compensation judges are subject to a statewide vote. Nebraska has three separate juvenile courts located in Douglas, Lancaster, and Sarpy counties. In the remaining counties, juvenile matters are heard in the county courts. If you have never been in a court room consider the opinion of litigants, court opinions, news stories and the judge's disciplinary history. We encourage all comments. If a comment violates our terms of service the comment will be removed. Comments are anonymous. Another set of criteria to guide your vote is the Nebraska Code of Judicial Conduct. The Judicial code of conduct governs a judge both on and off the bench.

Check EYEONTHEBENCH.ORG for regular updates!

COMMENTS/PUBLIC OPINION: We encourage the public to post their opinions on our pages.  (Posts do not always represent EOB opinions.)  By posting you agree to our terms of service.

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