Archive for the tag 'Caperton'

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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Jan 29 2010

The Time is Now

PMC Deputy Director Shira Goodman attended this week’s Georgetown Law-Aspen Institute conference focused on selecting judges in the wake of the Caperton and Citizens United decisions. Goodman reports that there were two clear messages: First, judicial elections are about to become even more expensive, partisan and divisive. The second and more optimistic message is that […]

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Aug 11 2009

“What Should be Unacceptable is the Election of Judges”

Published by under Judges,Opinion

Former federal judge H. Lee Sarokin offers a thought-provoking blog post on the Huffington Post entitled, “When Does a Campaign Contribution Become a Bribe?”  Judge Sarokin opens with this striking image: Can you imagine a lawyer or litigant walking up to the bench in the middle of a trial and handing the judge a check […]

2 responses so far

Jul 22 2009

Something’s Still Rotten in the State of West Virginia

Published by under Judges,News

A little over a month has passed since the Caperton decision, and things still seem to be rotten in the state of West Virginia. Both the Charleston Gazette and the Associated Press (via are reporting new accusations of judicial impropriety in a case involving Massey Energy, the coal company that was accused in Caperton […]

One response so far

Jul 20 2009

A Little Bit Can Go a Long Way

Published by under Judges,News

A judge in New Orleans is facing removal from the bench because she is alleged to have made a damages award to a plaintiff not based on the merits of the case but because she wanted to help his lawyer, who had contributed to her election campaign.  Interestingly, the numbers at issue here — both […]

3 responses so far

Jul 15 2009

Making the Case for Merit Selection

In a guest column for the Times-Tribune in Scranton, PMC Board Chair Bob Heim makes the case for Merit Selection.  Heim begins with a discussion of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Caperton and then offers this insight about the problematic role of money in judicial elections: There’s no question that, , if one side […]

2 responses so far

Jul 06 2009

A No-Brainer

In a recent column, Jen Huntley of the Reno News and Review reacts to the Caperton decision: When I read about the Supreme Court decision requiring judges facing civil cases involving significant donors to their own election to recuse themselves, my first response was—this is a no-brainer! How could anyone be impartial in a decision […]

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Jul 02 2009

“The Real Answer is to Adopt Merit Selection”

Bob Ewegen over at the Blackacre Journal shared his thoughts about Caperton earlier this week.  After a colorful retelling of the facts, Ewegan notes: If you’re a fan of author John Grisham, you may recognize the plot of his latest legal thriller, The Appeal, which Grisham admits was inspired by the events in West Virginia.  […]

One response so far

Jul 01 2009

We All Deserve an Even Playing Field

Published by under Judges,Merit Selection,Opinion

In the wake of Caperton, an editorial in the San Antonio Express-News urges Texas to adopt Merit Selection for its judges.  Leading the charge for reform in Texas is the current Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, Wallace Jefferson.  His support for Merit Selection continues a tradition begun by his predecessors on the bench; […]

One response so far

Jun 29 2009

One Dollar Is Too Much

Published by under Judges,News,Our Perspective

As the Caperton decision continues to make waves around the country, an article in the Bucks County Courier Times highlights its impact in our region.  The context is the current judicial election contest in Bucks County.  (PMC and PMCAction do not endorse or support any judicial candidates, but we report about campaign activities or candidate […]

One response so far

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