The Washington University Jurisprudence Review, a law journal of Washington University School of Law, will publish an article examining judicial elections, authored by Elon Law alumnus John Warren L’13, in spring of 2014.
In his final year at Elon Law, a class discussion of the U.S. Supreme Court case Chisom v. Roemer, in former Chief Justice Exum’s “Judicial Process” course, prompted Warren’s research and analysis of modern judicial elections around the country. Under the guidance of Professor Exum, Warren crafted a final paper for the “Judicial Process” course that Exum encourage him to submit for scholarly publication.
In late May 2013, Warren received correspondence from the Washington University Jurisprudence Review that they were interested in publishing his article, “Holding the Bench Accountable: Judges Qua Representatives.” Warren’s article examines how justices operating within electoral schemes of judicial selection must maintain the integrity of their adjudication duties through law interpretation while being vulnerable to partisan and ideological attacks on their decisions during election cycles.
“John worked hard on his paper; his research was exhaustive; and he synthesized it with his own original ideas extremely well,” Exum said. “In several years of teaching Judicial Process both at Elon Law School and the UNC-CH Law School, John’s paper may be the best student paper I have read. After reading his final draft, I called the Registrar to make sure I was giving John the highest possible grade. That, as it turns out, was an A. Had an A+ or an A++ been available, that’s what I would have given him.”
In the article, Warren posits that the popular election of judges should be eliminated because of the improper influence that political opinions may have within such systems of judicial selection. He points out that federal courts appoint judges through the government’s executive branch and that the legislature has the ability to remove judges for extreme misconduct if necessary. Judicial appointment systems, Warren argues, better insulate judges from improper political influences. In addition, Warren writes about the increasing amount of money being raised for judicial elections and the potential conflict that such funds present for judges who must impartially decide issues for “all social, economic, racial, and other classes who may not achieve independent majoritarian power.”
In addition to thanking Justice Exum for his guidance while researching and writing the article, Warren expressed appreciation for the counsel of Professors Enrique Armijo and Michael Rich as he prepared and submitted his article for publication.
While attending Elon Law, Warren was the Symposium Editor of the Elon Law Review. He will be published in that journal in the fall of 2013 with the Note, “Tale of Two Andersons: Anderson v. South Carolina Election Commission and Anderson v. Celebrezze–An Examination of the Constitutionality of Section 8-13-1356 of the South Carolina Code of Laws Following the 2012 Primary Ballot Access Controversy.” Additionally, Warren was a two-time regional semifinalist in the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition in Washington, D.C. while a member of the Moot Court Board at Elon Law.
Warren has worked with attorney John S. Simmons prior to and during law school in a variety of capacities at Simmons Law Firm in Columbia, SC. Warren is scheduled to begin a clerkship in August for Judge John W. Kittredge of the South Carolina Supreme Court for the 2013-2014 term in Columbia, SC.