@Xyopq - Meh, it just seems a little overly complex. Too many steps. Too much red tape for something that, in the grand scheme of things, is not THAT important. It's not like we're trying to pick the leader of the free world here.
I don't really like the idea of creating a group of users that can basically give a thumbs up or thumbs down as far as whether people after them can receive a badge. After all, absolute power corrupts absolutely right?
You're also assuming that the current badge holders will even be present to make the decision. If you keep it in the hands of regular users, then you future-proof the process as well as automate it so that mods don't have to be involved except for during the occasional contest.
If you simply make the number of nominations required to attain a badge high enough, then it seems that would be a valid measure of the community's will.