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Contact Us Home October 31, 2014
"The influence of big money in judicial elections has exploded in this decade, and ... it has totally eroded public confidence."
Ed Rendell, governor of Pennsylvania

Featured Stories

October 30, 2014

Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente is  speaking out about an effort to unseat two Kansas Supreme Court justices over a single ruling in a criminal case.  See Gavel Grab for more. 

October 30, 2014

New trends in increasingly politicized state judicial elections pose real dangers for people who seek impartial justice from elected judges, USA Today quotes Justice at Stake as saying. Read more at Gavel Grab

October 30, 2014

Special interest groups have dramatically boosted their TV ad spending to influence state supreme court races in five states with less than a week to go until Election Day, JAS and the Brennan Center for Justice said. Gavel Grab has more. 

October 29, 2014

"Here we go again," JAS Executive Director Bert Brandenburg told the Chicago Tribune about an Illinois Supreme Court retention election with surging spending and dueling TV ads. Learn more from Gavel Grab.

October 28, 2014

The New York Times, NPR, and Mother Jones are the latest national media to raise or report troubling questions that arise from big spending on judicial elections, all quoting Justice at Stake. Gavel Grab has more.

October 27, 2014

Embattled Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery resigned his post, and there were increasing calls to end the practice of holding contested elections for top judges. Find out more from Gavel Grab

October 26, 2014

Amid a deluge of coverage about partisan and special interest spending on judicial elections, a commentator said political TV ads are sending a message that "state judiciaries are for sale."  Find out more from Gavel Grab.

October 26, 2014

Defenders of fair and impartial courts are pushing back against an effort to deny retention to two Kansas Supreme Court justices in the wake of a controversial court ruling. Gavel Grab has more.

October 24, 2014

TV ad spending in state judicial elections has exceeded $9.1 million so far this year, Justice at Stake and the Brennan Center for Justice said on Friday. Gavel Grab has details. 

October 24, 2014

The Nation spotlights efforts by special interest groups to put their stamp on state courts through judicial elections, and it quotes Justice at Stake and a partner group. For more, check out Gavel Grab.

October 23, 2014

With independent spending against an Illinois Supreme Court justice rising in his retention election, Justice at Stake said, “The system for picking judges in Illinois is breaking down.” Read Gavel Grab for more.

October 23, 2014

Nearly three out of four voters in Cole County, Missouri are concerned about outside special interest money pouring into a local race for Circuit Court judge, Justice at Stake announced. Details available from Gavel Grab.

October 23, 2014

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court's suspension of one of its justices, and personal conflict on the court, fueled renewed calls for a shift to merit selection of judges. Gavel Grab has more.  

October 21, 2014

A new study finds evidence that TV ads attacking state supreme court candidates for being “soft on crime” make judges less likely to side with criminal defendants. See details at Gavel Grab

October 21, 2014

“[T]he courtroom is becoming the next frontier in rancorous political division," and the best answer for addressing the threat to impartial justice is to eliminate judicial elections entirely, a Washington Post editorial declared. Gavel Grab has more. 

October 21, 2014

After North Carolina’s legislature ended public financing for judicial campaigns, “We’re kind of back to the Wild West,” Justice Robin Hudson told National Journal. Its article cited Justice at Stake. Read Gavel Grab for more. 

October 17, 2014

Victims' kin, upset over the Kansas Supreme Court's voiding death penalty sentences for two brothers in a notorious quadruple killing, set up an organization to oppose retention of two justices who participated. Find out more from Gavel Grab.

October 16, 2014

“Outside spending” and “inside spending” are becoming hot topics in a race for the Montana Supreme Court between incumbent Justice Mike Wheat and challenger Lawrence VanDyke. Learn more from Gavel Grab.

October 16, 2014

A partisan, Washington, D.C.-based group has now funneled $200,000 into Missouri to support a Cole County judicial candidate. JAS warned about the implications of such spending. See Gavel Grab for details. 

October 14, 2014

The Republican State Leadership Committee is plunging into state judicial elections with heavy spending, spurring “judges to get more involved in their campaigns” as they seek reelection, the Wall Street Journal says, quoting JAS. Gavel Grab has more. 

October 10, 2014

Spending on TV advertising airtime in Michigan's Supreme Court contests has climbed to $1.2 million, as the state GOP began airing an ad promoting its nominees, JAS and the Brennan Center said. Read Gavel Grab for more. 

October 8, 2014

Two outside groups have begun airing TV ads in Montana’s Supreme Court election. JAS and the Brennan Center for Justice warned of soaring out-of-state spending in judicial elections. Read Gavel Grab for more.

October 7, 2014

Five candidates for the North Carolina Supreme Court have booked more than $1 million worth of TV airtime for ads, according to an analysis by JAS and the Brennan Center for Justice. Find out more from Gavel Grab.

October 6, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review decisions that struck down bans on marriage for same-sex couples in five states. Read Gavel Grab for more.

October 3, 2014

“Kansans should be concerned” that a new court funding law threatens the independence of the state judiciary, retired Kansas Justice Fred N. Six wrote in an op-ed. For more, visit Gavel Grab.



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