Civic Engagement Nebraska Politics

Voting Blue in Nebraska: What About the Judges?


Judge Purrgood Meowshall
Judge Ruth Bader Ginspurr


So you received your midterm ballot. You did your homework on the candidates–but what about the judges on the ballot?


Our recommendation is: when in doubt, vote to retain judges on the ballot in Nebraska.

In Nebraska, state court judges are chosen through “assisted appointments”–meaning that a committee advances two qualified nominees, and the governor selects one of them. After that, the judges must be retained through periodic retention elections. Voters are asked whether the judges should be retained in office. If the answer is no, that judge is removed and the assisted appointment process begins again.

There’s usually no easy way for most people to know how to evaluate a judge. In Nebraska, most of our judges are former prosecutors, and most of them are registered as republicans. I know that makes our liberal hearts long for new faces on the bench, but that’s a bad idea.

Most judges in Nebraska are good(ish). They bring years, and sometimes decades, of learned reasoning and jurisprudence to the communities they serve.

Arguably, ousting a judge while Ricketts is in power would likely result in an even more extreme judge being seated, only now we’ve lost years of training and legal experience.

If you really want to research, here’s the best place;

But honestly, unless you have personal experience with a judge, or there’s a large coordinated effort to remove a judge from the bench, this is one of those votes where maintaining the status quo is typically the path of least harm.

So if the question is to retain an old judge, or retrain a new judge, we here at Seeing Red recommend voting RETAIN.