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.
“[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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
The Supreme Court agreed to decide whether states where judges are elected may bar judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign cash. Check out Gavel Grab for more and a JAS statement.
The American Judicature Society has announced that after 101 years of work to protect the integrity of the American justice system, it will close its doors. Gavel Grab has more.
As judicial elections heat up, how can fair and impartial courts be protected in the face of big spending? From the New York Times to smaller news outlets, reporters exploring this issue cited Justice at Stake. See Gavel Grab for more.
A controversy swirling around several Wisconsin Supreme Court justices is the “bitter harvest” of a big-spending system of judicial elections, Justice at Stake Executive Director Bert Brandenburg warned. Read Gavel Grab for more.
In races for two seats on the Montana Supreme Court, outside spending in judicial elections and jury nullification have emerged among candidate concerns or favored topics. Gavel Grab has more.
Outside spending is becoming a central issue in the upcoming Montana Supreme Court election for two open seats. Find out more about a candidate debate from Gavel Grab.
TV advertising buys adding up to nearly $710,000 have already been booked in four contested races for the North Carolina Supreme Court, Justice at Stake and two other reform groups said. Gavel Grab has more.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said controversial judicial nominee Michael Boggs of Georgia does not have the votes to win approval by the committee. Read Gavel Grab for more.
“The public has become firmly convinced that justice is for sale," JAS Executive Director Bert Brandenburg told Stateline for an article about big-spending judicial elections and other efforts to influence fair courts. Gavel Grab has more.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has appointed fewer African-American judges than did either of his two predecessors during a corresponding time period. Details available from Gavel Grab.
Citizens concerned about protecting fair and impartial courts must stand up against attacks such as those occurring recently in Arkansas, urged Eric Lesh of Lambda Legal. See Gavel Grab for details.
President Obama has made his mark reshaping the federal circuit courts of appeals, where judges appointed by Democratic presidents now outnumber those appointed by Republicans by 95 to 77. For more, visit Gavel Grab.
When state high court judges and candidates face voters this fall, special interest groups are expected to flood the contests with spending in an effort to reshape the courts, warned JAS and the Brennan Center for Justice. Gavel Grab has more.