Justice at Stake Executive Director Bert Brandenburg reacted today to Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s signing of House Bill 2019, which changes the way state Court of Appeals judges are chosen from a merit selection process to a Washington-style process of direct gubernatorial appointment with Senate confirmation.
Justice at Stake Executive Director Bert Brandenburg made the following statement about Senate action to change filibuster procedure.
“When Gov. Perdue created a Judicial Nominating Commission in 2011, she said, ‘There is no place for politics when it comes to choosing the state’s most honored and influential legal servants.’ She was right.
“Today, we call on the Senate to act quickly to schedule and hold up-or-down votes on pending judicial nominees. Our courts should not be held hostage to partisan politics. This remains just as true for the lame-duck session as for any other time of the legislative year. We are pleased that some members of both parties realize the gravity of the situation: Not only Democratic Leader Harry Reid and Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, but also Republicans such as Sens. Susan Collins, Tom Coburn, James Inhofe, Olympia Snowe, and Pat Toomey have called for votes on nominees. We urge these senators to push for prompt action.
Turning a spotlight on Florida and Iowa, Justice at Stake asked whether the billionaire Koch brothers and out-of-state politicians are using judicial elections to boost presidential swing-state turnout. See Gavel Grab for details.
Today, the Florida GOP became the second state party in the last two months to call for incumbent state Supreme Court justices to be unseated for partisan purposes. (The Iowa GOP did so on August 1.)
"Courtroom decisions, conservative or progressive, are not criminal. They are not grounds for impeachment," Charlie Hall of Justice at Stake writes about a new impeachment call. See Gavel Grab for details.
Justice at Stake hailed the appointment of Steven Gonzalez to the Washington Supreme Court, where he has become the first Mexican American justice to serve in the state’s history. Read Gavel Grab for more.
Justice at Stake and the Brennan Center for Justice have praised the Tennessee Supreme Court’s decision to strengthen that state’s judicial recusal rules. See Gavel Grab for details.
In a Chicago Tribune op-ed today, JAS Executive Director Bert Brandenburg called for more rigorous rules on judicial recusal to protect fair and impartial courts. See Gavel Grab for details.
Bert Brandenburg, JAS executive director, decried an explosion of assaults on merit selection, and also efforts to impeach judges over controversial rulings. See details in Gavel Grab.
Justice at Stake applauded on Friday the apparent death of an effort to impeach four Iowa Supreme Court justices. See Gavel Grab for more.
The mud-slinging, special-interest dominated 2011 battle for the Wisconsin Supreme Court represented the latest assault on the high court’s credibility, the Justice at Stake Campaign said today. See Gavel Grab for more.
For 200 years, a safety barrier has protected our nation's courts and our democracy. No matter how controversial the case or unpopular the ruling, no state or federal judge has been impeached for an opinion issued from the bench. In the next few months, that may change. Last fall, Iowa...
For more than 200 years, a safety barrier has protected our nation's courts and our democracy. No matter how controversial the case or unpopular the ruling, no state or federal judge has been impeached for an opinion issued from the bench. In the next few months, that may change. The...
Given a new round of special interest campaign cash, attack advertising and wedge-issue politics in the 2010 judicial elections, "pressure on impartial justice is growing," said Bert Brandenburg, executive director of the Justice at Stake Campaign. For details, see Gavel Grab.
At Fox News, Glenn Beck has been taken in by a conspiracy theory about $45 million in spending to end competitive judicial elections in the United States. For details, see Gavel Grab.
Working the ref is a time-honored tradition. This election season, America's referees—judges—are coming in for a serious round of partisan hazing. The latest target is Sandra Day O'Connor. The immediate goal is to shut her up. The broader goals are more ominous. Since she left the Supreme Court in 2005,...
Her detractors ought to 'Lay Off Sandra Day O'Connor," Bert Brandenburg, the executive director of Justice at Stake, writes in a Slate commentary today. Read details in Gavel Grab.
When should a judge be thrown out of office? This year, Coloradans will join voters in 15 states when they engage in a special type of ballot known as a retention election. Voters must choose "yes" or "no" on whether to grant another term to Supreme Court justices and local...
The Justice at Stake Campaign and a partner, the Brennan Center for Justice, have unveiled a new website featuring data on national TV spending, candidate fundraising and key political players in 2010 state high-court elections, which may be unprecedented in their character. State Supreme Court retention (up-or-down) elections in four...
Former Colorado Supreme Court Justice Jean Dubofsky and Democratic Party lawyer Mark Grueskin are forming a nonprofit group to educate voters about the judicial performance evaluation process in light of an anti-retention campaigned led by Clear The Bench. Click here to read more .
"Has the Citizens United whirlwind begun with a small dust devil down in Texas? When the Supreme Court issued its controversial ruling, it seemed to have a sanguine view of what it means to let corporations and unions spend freely on political elections."
"In the end, what did this winter’s Obama-Alito confrontation amount to? When a hot Supreme Court case comes along, intertwined with high-stakes politics, interbranch tempers have a way of boiling over. And testiness between courts and the elected branches is part of Beltway life. But the State of the Union spat sucked Washington into one of its favorite games—the kind where no one really wins."