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Judicial selection, no matter its format, is an inherently political process. In the broadest analysis, judges are selected either directly by a popular election or indirectly by an executive branch appointment. The President of the United States appoints federal judges with the advice and consent of the Senate. In keeping with the states' role as the laboratories of democracy, judicial selection varies widely from state to state. In Georgia, judges are elected in nonpartisan elections along with the general primaries in even-numbered years. In particular, the Georgia Constitution grants the governor the power to appoint a judge when a judgeship becomes vacant. Appointed judges stand for reelection with an incumbency advantage. For many judges, appointment is the first path to the bench.

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