Noting the U.S. Senate’s historic confirmation this week of three judges of diverse backgrounds, JAS said a diverse bench serves all and strengthens public confidence in the judiciary. Learn more from Gavel Grab.
Recent Fair-Courts Articles
An amicus brief filed by JAS contends that sitting judges and non-judge candidates alike should be held to the same ethics rules when running for election to the Arizona bench. Find out more from Gavel Grab.
“[T]he process of staffing the federal courts is getting better, but given the process’s long-degraded state, that’s not saying much,” courts expert Russell Wheeler of the Brookings Institution blogs. See Gavel Grab for more.
The prospect of a big-spending Tennessee Supreme Court retention election is fueling debate about threats to judicial ethics and to our system of checks and balances. Gavel Grab has details.
Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts said a push for merit selection of statewide judges fell short this session, and the group will work to find common ground for reform. Gavel Grab has more.
At a forum in Philadelphia, state judges cautioned that impartial courts are threatened when special interests try to tilt the scales of justice by attempting to influence judges. For more, see Gavel Grab.
"It’s discouraging to hear that Tennessee’s courts are about to face the kind of special-interest tsunami that is targeting courts across the country," JAS Executive Director Bert Brandenburg said. Learn more from Gavel Grab.
Public trust in fair and impartial courts “is undermined when special interest groups pour large sums of money into judicial elections,” Justice at Stake wrote leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Read Gavel Grab for more.
In a rare TV interview of jurists who are targeted for ouster, three Tennessee Supreme Court justices said they’re campaigning for the ability of state courts to remain independent. Find out more from Gavel Grab.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has successfully stepped up the pace for Senate confirmation of judicial nominees, and the number of judicial vacancies has declined. Read Gavel Grab for more.
The issue of the legality of marriage for same-sex couples has gained momentum from a wave of lower-court rulings by a diverse set of judges who ruled against state bans. Gavel Grab has more.
A defender of fair courts found disturbing parallels between a backlash against Brown v. Board of Education 60 years ago and retribution against the Kansas Supreme Court in modern times. Learn more from Gavel Grab.
TV ad spending in an Arkansas Supreme Court election nearly doubled from 2012, and JAS said 2014 is becoming "a year of escalating pressure on our courts." Find out more from Gavel Grab.
Following months of speculation and pressure, Gov. Chris Christie reappointed Chief Justice Stuart Rabner to the New Jersey Supreme Court after making a political deal. Gavel Grab has more.
JAS Board Members Ruth McGregor and Randall Shepard, retired state chief justices, decried in a Washington Post op-ed an “atmosphere of bullying” that is threatening fair and impartial courts. Find out more from Gavel Grab.
The New York Times, in a searing editorial entitled “Judges and Justice for Sale,” condemned judicial elections in America. Gavel Grab has details.
The Brown v. Board of Education decision sixty years ago is historic not only for its impact on civil rights and education but also for illustrating the importance of independent courts, JAS said. See Gavel Grab for more.
Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe’s office and the Arkansas House Speaker are vigorously rejecting calls to impeach a state judge who issued a controversial ruling in a marriage case. Read Gavel Grab for more.
The Senate confirmed Diane Humetewa to the federal district court in Arizona, where she will become the first female Native American federal judge in history, a milestone applauded by JAS. Gavel Grab has more.
Former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas is urging impeachment of a state who recently struck down an Arkansas ban on marriage for same-sex couples. Gavel Grab has more.
With critics taking aim at three Tennessee Supreme Court justices, the incumbents’ retention election in August could break records for judicial election spending in the state. Find out more from Gavel Grab.
If "voters start thinking of judges as politicians in robes, then our state and our democracy are in trouble," JAS and the North Carolina Voters for Clean Elections wrote in a Raleigh News & Observer op-ed. See Gavel Grab for more.
The possible lines of attack for a partisan effort to remove three Tennessee Supreme Court justices in retention (up-or-down) elections this year were disclosed in a news report. Gavel Grab has more.
With more than $1.3 million spent on the North Carolina Supreme Court primary, JAS said, "[T]he question must be asked, 'Is justice for sale in North Carolina?" Read Gavel Grab for more.
Focusing on North Carolina’s Supreme Court primary, a New York Times article documents how the “revolution in financing political campaigns” with outside money has entered judicial elections, and cites JAS. Read Gavel Grab for more.