Archive for the tag 'campaign contributions'

Dec 04 2014

As Judicial Campaign Expenditures Increase, Faith in the System Decreases

Published by under Merit Selection

As judicial campaign contributions and expenditures continue to rise in the wake of the Citizens United decision, more commentators have begun to question just how “fair,” “impartial,” and “independent” our judiciary is. This past election, campaign spending for judicial elections in several states reached record highs. In states such as North Carolina, spending by outside […]

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Jun 20 2013

Special Interest Group Money May be Influencing Judicial Decisions

According to a report released by the American Constitution Society (ACS), special interest groups donate a large portion of the funding that judges use to run their election campaigns. For example, business groups contributed $62.6 million to state supreme court justices around the country between 2000 and 2009. This accounted for 30 percent of all […]

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Oct 23 2012

Purchasing Justice: A Threat to Impartiality

Published by under Judicial Elections

A recent blog compared NFL referees with courtroom judges.  Both sides want the decider to be impartial and skilled.  However, when judges are required to actively fundraise in order to successfully campaign for a viagra purchase seat on the bench and special interest groups, lawyers and litigants who may later appear before the judge donate […]

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Oct 23 2012

Select on Merit, Don’t Elect on Money

Published by under Merit Selection

A recent editorial in the Daily Journal (Tupelo) explains that an independent judiciary should not have to campaign for contributions. Although the candidates for the Mississippi State Court election are all “honorable members of the canadian pharmacy legal profession,” the fact that they have to raise money for their viagra order campaign is unsettling. The […]

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Jun 08 2012

Lawyers' Contributions to Judicial Campaigns All Too Common

Published by under Judicial Elections

A San Antonio Express-News article explains just how frequently lawyers contribute to judicial election campaigns.  Picture this: a group of probate attorneys gathering together in order to discuss the re-election of a probate judge while drinking scotch and beer.  The probate judge, Tom Rickhoff, stops by with a list of attorneys who could potentially contribute money to his re-election […]

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Sep 21 2011

“Voters Deserve Better”

Published by under Merit Selection,Opinion

A Lancaster Online editorial predicts that the new proposal for Merit Selection of statewide appellate court judges in Pennsylvania may see some political success this time around. “Many people are growing ever more concerned about the increasingly expensive and partisan elections. Also, the Luzerne County ‘kids for cash’ scandal cast a long shadow over the […]

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Aug 23 2011

Justice Does Not Have a Price

Published by under Judicial Elections

Indiana’s IndyChannel.com reports that a judicial campaign fundraising flier appears to equate financial donations with favorable rulings. The flier advertises an event to support the re-election of Marion Superior Court Judge Becky Pierson-Treacy. Among the “suggested contributions,” are “$150 ‘Sustained’”; “250 ‘Affirmed’”; “500 ‘So Ordered’”; and “$1,000 ‘Favorable Ruling’”. According to former Judge Gary Miller […]

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Aug 05 2011

Vanzetta Penn McPherson Speaks Out in Favor of Merit

Published by under Judges,Opinion

In a recent Montgomery Advertiser editorial, Retired U.S. Magistrate Judge Vanzetta Penn McPherson advocates a transition from judicial elections to Merit Selection of judges. Her critique of judicial elections follows the resignation of Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb. McPherson seconds Cobb’s concern that partisan elections of judges “perpetuate the public perception that judges are […]

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Aug 02 2011

Birmingham News urges Alabama to enforce law limiting judicial campaign contributions, consider merit selection

Published by under Merit Selection

Saturday’s edition of the Birmingham News featured an editorial urging Alabama to enforce its sixteen-year-old law regulating judicial campaign contributions. The law requires that judges recuse themselves from cases in which a party or their lawyer donated $2000 or more to the judge’s campaign ($4000 for appellate judges). However, the law has not been enforced […]

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Jul 15 2011

New article looks at the ethical implications of lawyers’ donations to judges campaigns

Published by under Merit Selection

Gavel Grab features a review of an article written by Professor Keith Swisher of the Phoenix School of Law. Swisher’s piece, published in the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, looks at the ethical implication of the widespread practice of lawyers contributing to judicial campaigns. essays on abortion Swisher concludes that campaign contributions do affect case […]

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