Nothing much to say here, but this piece by Derek C. Araujo is worth a look if you don't usually frequent the Center for Inquiry's site. It's about Supreme Court judges getting voted out in Iowa in the recent American elections.
The notion that "the will of the people" rules supreme in the United States is seductive, but wrong in an important sense. Under our system of government, political majorities cannot use the ballot box to trample the rights of minorities. And the only people standing between minority rights and a tyranny of the majority are the men and women in black robes so frequently maligned by conservative forces.
Conservative critics of the judiciary make a great show of respecting "the Constitution." In my judgment, their stance is unprincipled. Judicial decisions they agree with must be respected under the Constitution and the rule of law; when shown a judicial decision they don't like, however, they fulminate against "activist" judges and "robed masters" who are "unaccountable to the people." Never mind that unaccountability to political forces is an essential component of the system of government enshrined in the Constitution.
The idea that (at least some) judges are elected in 39 of the American states is incredible. Araujo again:
This practice is virtually unknown in the rest of the world, and with good reason. As the Founders of the U.S. well knew, if judges are to render objectively fair decisions based on law rather than public opinion, the judiciary must be independent. If judges are to prevent the majority from trampling the rights of minorities and unpopular parties, they must be shielded from electoral politics, special interests, the need to raise ever-increasing amounts of money to fund elections, the force of public opinion, or fear of rebuke by powerful political forces. The Founders therefore guaranteed that federal court judges would not be elected, but would be appointed for life, subject to removal only on impeachment and conviction of "high crimes and misdemeanors."