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Contact Us Home November 28, 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

November 26, 2014

Judicial campaigns are getting more political, as a “new wave of campaign spending driven by outside political groups and unlimited donations" affect them, the Los Angeles Times reports. Gavel Grab has more.

November 24, 2014

The New Yorker takes an in-depth look at what happens in Alabama when a judge overrides a jury's recommendation for a life prison sentence. The article cites JAS. For more, see Gavel Grab.  

November 18, 2014

The 2014 GOP “wave” elections brought big changes for executive and legislative offices but “stopped at the courthouse door,” JAS Executive Director Bert Brandenburg wrote in an analysis published by McClatchy. For more, visit Gavel Grab.

November 14, 2014

Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, remarking on a high number of uncontested judicial elections in the state, says Ohio ought to consider appointing judges rather than electing them. Read more at Gavel Grab.

November 14, 2014

“Now the clock has been turned back to the days when judges had to raise money like politicians," JAS Executive Director Bert Brandenburg told a N.C. newspaper about recent judicial elections there. Gavel Grab has more. 

November 14, 2014

A group called Fix the Court has unveiled an ad campaign saying the U.S. Supreme Court “has become the most powerful, least accountable part of government in recent years.” For more, see Gavel Grab.

November 14, 2014

Using an executive order, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has created an  11-member Governor’s Council for Judicial Appointments. Learn more from Gavel Grab.

November 5, 2014

TV ad spending in state supreme court elections by outside groups, political parties, and candidates since January has surged to more than $13.8 million, JAS and the Brennan Center for Justice said. See Gavel Grab for more. 

November 5, 2014

A year after legislators killed North Carolina’s public financing program for judicial campaigns, spending on the state’s Supreme Court race climbed to more than $5.2 million and shattered records. Read more at Gavel Grab.

November 5, 2014

Kansans voted to retain two state Supreme Court justices, Eric Rosen and Lee Johnson, for new six-year terms on Tuesday after they were targeted for ouster over a single court ruling. Gavel Grab has more. 

November 5, 2014

Tennessee voters approved on Tuesday a modified Federal-style system for picking appellate judges, and JAS called the action a good step forward. Find out more from Gavel Grab.  

November 5, 2014

Tennessee voters approved on Tuesday a modified Federal-style system for picking appellate judges, and JAS called the action a good step forward. Find out more from Gavel Grab.  

November 3, 2014

From a New York Times editorial to a Slate feature about "scary" attack ads, late-hour judicial election coverage raised concerns about threats to fair courts and also cited Justice at Stake. See Gavel Grab for more. 

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.

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