The quality of a state's judicial system is an important determinant of economic growth and vitality. The decisions made within state judicial systems affect the degree to which private property rights are well-defined and enforced, which is an essential building block for entrepreneurial activity and economic growth. The key link between free-market institutions, such as secure property rights, and entrepreneurial activity has been demonstrated by Kreft and Sobel (2005) and Ovaska and Sobel (2005). Bad court decisions often infringe on the individual liberties and freedoms that are essential underpinnings for civil society and a well-functioning market economy (see Dorn 1985 and others in that special issue of the Cato Journal on this general topic). In addition, decisions made within state judicial systems also have important effects on the cost of doing business in a state. Poor liability rules reflected in state judicial decisions have been blamed for high medical malpractice rates, high workers" compensation rates, and high automobile insurance rates in many states. Judicial decisions also impact the costliness of mandates and other regulations faced by businesses. Thus, it is clear that the judicial system is important for economic activity, and thus so is the selection mechanism that is used to determine the membership of state courts.