This chapter investigates the role of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) during the battle for international law circa the years of 1955–1975. It first draws attention to newly independent states that saw the Court in its role of reinforcing international law’s colonial imprints. The chapter then focuses on the Court’s captivating highpoint during the battle for international law: its 1962 and 1966 Judgments in South West Africa, and the jarring 1966 decision which, in the eyes of many states, presented the ICJ as a ‘white man’s court’ in a white man’s world. The chapter then shows the effects of the 1966 decision in judicial elections and the quest to change the composition of the bench. Finally, the chapter argues that the present inquiry serves as a vivid reminder that international law and its institutions are the product of a veritable struggle, then as now.
Chapter 3 maps the current judicial selection landscape by describing a series of developments decades in the making that has altered the political environment of judicial elections in fundamental ways. The chapter begins with a table showing the breakdown across all fifty U.S. states regarding which of the five methods of selecting judges are used by each state in selecting its high court judges. An additional table demonstrates how each state treats the reselection of a judge after the judge’s initial appointment or election. The chapter then turns to the contributing causes of the new politics of judicial elections, which include the weakening of the Democratic Party in the southern states, the rise of discretionary Supreme Court Review and the decline of mundane cases, the migration of civil rights and civil liberties campaigns to state courts, the role judges play as enemy combatants in the War on Crime, and the battle for tort reform going on in the state courts, which have resulted in the changing landscape of the American judiciary. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the consequences of these changes.