Archive for September, 2010

Sep 29 2010

And the Money Keeps Rolling In

Published by under Merit Selection

An editorial in the New York Times sounds the alarm about a problem that Pennsylvania is already familiar with — the rising tide of money washing into judicial elections. “As spending in state judicial races by special interests has vastly escalated in recent years, so has the threat to public confidence in judicial neutrality that […]

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Sep 27 2010

A problem with judicial campaigns

We often talk about the money problem associated with judicial elections, but another flaw in the system is the affect campaigning has on what should be an impartial judiciary. A recusal controversy involving a West Virginia Supreme Court Justice highlights this concern. In a post on The BLT: The Blog of the Legal Times, Tony […]

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Sep 23 2010

It’s time for a change

Over at What About Clients?, JD Hull denounces the continued practice in 39 states of electing judges in a post entitled “Why are Americans still popularly electing judges?” Comparing judicial elections to such antiquated systems as witchcraft laws and debtors prison, Hull clearly makes the point that it is time to find a new way […]

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Sep 21 2010

“A Recipe for Corruption”

An editorial in the Birmingham News condemns Alabama’s system of judicial elections and supports a change to an appointment-retention system. The editorial looks at the recent poll by Justice at Stake, in which a majority of Republicans and Democrats asked said that they believed campaign donations significantly impact court rulings. Noting Alabama’s reputation for having […]

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Sep 16 2010

Judicial Independence — In Danger of Extinction?

Over at the Huffington Post, attorney and professor Andrea Lyon offers a chilling analysis of the insidious effects on our courts of the money and pressure to please that characterize judicial elections. She argues that electing judges threatens actual judicial independence both by requiring judges to act in acco tadalafil online no prescription rdance with […]

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Sep 14 2010

What is Justice O'Connor Afraid Of?

Over at Slate, Dahlia Lithwick offers a compelling analysis of the problems inherent in the effort to oust three Iowa Supreme Court justices because of their votes in a gay marriage case.  Lithwick, focusing on the recent speech given by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in favor of Iowa’s Merit Selection system, explains: [W]hat O’Connor was […]

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Sep 13 2010

"Fair Courts at Risk"

An editorial in the New York Times decries the effect of increasingly expensive judicial elections and the expanded participation by special interests in those elections: [R]aucous campaigns with cheesy television attack ads paid for by influence seekers. These trends have grievously compromised judicial neutrality and the appearance of neutrality at the core of the nation’s […]

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Sep 08 2010

Across Party Lines, People Believe Money Influences Justice

A new poll released by Justice At Stake confirms that the belief that campaign contributions influence judicial decision-making is shared by Republicans and Democrats.  Among the key findings of the poll: 71 percent of Democrats, and 70 percent of Republicans, believe campaign expenditures have a significant impact on courtroom decisions. All told, 71 percent of […]

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Sep 07 2010

A Twist on the Money Problem

We often write about the Money Problem — the problem caused by a judicial election system that essentially requires candidates to raise campaign funds from parties, lawyers and law firms that are likely to appear before the winning judges in the future.  Here’s an interesting twist on the problem brought to us from Alabama.  According […]

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Sep 01 2010

New judicial election report gets press

Published by under Merit Selection

In a recent post titled “Justice for Sale?” on the American Constitution Society blog, Bert Brandenburg, the executive director of Justice at Stake, comments on the key findings in the newly released report “New Politics of Judicial Elections 2000-2009: Decade of Change.” The report, which was released by Justice at Stake, the Brennan Center for […]

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