This map of the United States is color-coded to show the distribution of each of five types of methods for initially selecting judges to serve on state courts of last resort. The five methods include partisan election, nonpartisan election, merit selection, legislative appointment, and gubernatorial appointment. By comparison federal judges at all levels are appointed for life by the president subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate. Texas is among a handful of states that use partisan election to select judges. This selection method has received much critical scrutiny in recent years, most notably from judges themselves as well as lawyers and others.