Vermont lawmakers have approved six more years on the bench for two judges and a magistrate.
Thursday’s votes were an example of the state’s judicial retention process, in which the legislature reviews judges’ performance every six years and then votes in a joint session on whether to retain them.
Some years the judges up for review draw heated debate, but this year the process was a quiet one. Judges Karen Carroll and Dennis Pearson and Magistrate Barry Peterson each won a new six-year term by overwhelming margins.
Many states elect their judges, a process sometimes criticized for injecting politics into the judiciary. Federal judges are appointed for lifetime terms, a system sometimes criticized as lacking accountability. Vermont takes a middle course, with judges reviewed every six years.