American Judges Association


Date of this Version



2019 Author


Copyright American Judges Association. Used by Permission.


Dear colleagues and Court Review readers!

The State of State Courts is an annual national survey conducted on behalf of the National Center for State Courts, and I thought it would be interesting to share the poll results and analysis as we focus on critical issues facing our respective judiciaries. In addition to NCSC ‘s regular tracking measures, this year’s research also examined three areas identified by NCSC’s advisory group as critical issues facing state courts across the country: cash bail reform, self-represented litigants, and online dispute resolution.

Overall views toward state courts have held steady, and in a few cases improved, despite a year of “widespread political attacks on judges, campaign accusations of special interest influence on the court system, and increasingly partisan battles over judicial elections and nominations.” Since tracking began in 2012, voter confidence and trust in the state courts reached a new high, with governors and state legislatures ratings falling well below the courts.