Federal bankruptcy judges are selected and then reappointed on merit by the Court of Appeals for the district where the BK judge will sit. The Judicial Council of the Circuit oversees the process.
I have sat on the Eight Circuit’s Council, and I have been involved with the selection of BK judges. We have fantastic BK judges, and I believe the process used in the federal courts is largely responsible for the high quality of these judges.
Now, an independent study has come to a similar conclusion. See A CREDIT TO THE COURTS The Selection, Appointment, and Reappointment Process for Bankruptcy Judges, Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, University of Denver (2013). It is worth reading.