Marie-Lou Sohnius, Benjamin G. Engst, Thomas Gschwend
Kontinuität am Bundesverfassungsgericht? Wie die Öffentlichkeit Voßkuhles und Masings Nachfolger bewertet

RechtsEmpirie Blog. 2020.

The election of new judges to the German Federal Constitutional Court has seen multiple delays in recent years. While we observe increasing debates among politicians when choosing candidates for the bench the public’s opinion with regard to nominees seems to play a minor role. We used a survey-experiment to assess how the German public evaluates traits of judicial nominees. In this post we apply our findings to characteristics of current nominees who may follow on Andreas Voßkuhle and Johannes Masing. The results suggest that all nominees have traits which make them adequate successors of the leaving judges. Moreover, to enhance the courts public standing decision-makers should highlight the judicial qualities of nominees rather than engaging in political debates.