You mention that there will always be critics. I am under no illusion that we will achieve universal consensus. I do believe, however, that we can ignore the fringes on both sides, and achieve consensus of the reasonable people. Right now, it is the reasonable people who believe that the judiciary is getting worse, and I side with them on this.
To add to what I originally proposed, a panel of experts, if you will, is more qualified to nominate Judges than either the President or Congress. The President and Congress both are political, partisan animals by nature, and are not distanced enough from the fray to make objective choices. Unlike the other branches, members of the judiciary are legitimized by their expertise and their known ability to interpret the law.