Published online by Cambridge University Press: 25 January 2021
High-profile advocates are pushing states to move away from judicial elections and toward a “merit” method because it purportedly produces the best quality judges. Quality, however, is difficult to measure empirically. Rather than attempt to measure quality, we examine whether certain types of state supreme courts are more forward-looking than others. States are likely to desire forward-looking behavior among judges because it can protect judicial legitimacy, help states to control policy, and could be more efficient than myopic behavior. Using a recent innovation in matching called covariate-balancing propensity scores, we find that the U.S. Supreme Court is equally likely to review and reverse decisions by judges regardless of their selection or retention methods. These results suggest that state supreme court justices, no matter their paths of getting to (and staying on) their courts, are roughly equal in terms of forward-looking behavior.