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"These are distinctly frightening times-especially for those of us who believe judicial elections should be different from other elections and that it is important to maintain both the appearance and actuality of impartial justice."
Rick Hasen and Dahlia Lithwick
 

Recent Fair-Courts Articles

August 12, 2014

 President Barack Obama spoke to a group of donors to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and expressed his goal of holding a democratic majority in the Senate in order to fill potential vacancies in the Supreme Court, Time reported.  Gavel Grab has more.

August 12, 2014

 The Center for American Progress published an article detailing the rise of the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), a group that has spent millions of dollars to try to influence several state Supreme Court elections. More from Gavel Grab.

August 11, 2014

A federal judge has declared that a monument of the Ten Commandments in front of the Bloomfield, New Mexico City Hall violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. Gavel Grab has more.

 

August 7, 2014

Tennessee voters gave three incumbent Supreme Court justices new eight-year terms.  Both sides had spent more than $1.4 million combined on TV advertising in the hard-fought election. Gavel Grab has more. 

August 7, 2014

As national and state media followed the Supreme Court retention election in Tennessee, JAS and a partner group were quoted raising concerns about the risks of politicized and high-spending judicial races. Gavel Grab has more.  

August 6, 2014

Diversity on the bench was in the spotlight in two Midwestern states today after milestone achievements by two women. Gavel Grab has details. 

August 6, 2014

In a keynote speech to an attorneys' organization, JAS Executive Director Bert Brandenburg discussed "Judges in a Fish Bowl" and what can be done when an independent judiciary comes under repeated attack. See Gavel Grab for more.  

August 6, 2014

The New York Times profiled the “expensive and acrimonious" Tennessee Supreme Court retention election and quoted Justice at Stake about it. Gavel Grab has more. 

August 5, 2014

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said he believes that electing state judges is a mistake and that Arkansas should consider shifting to a method like Missouri's. Learn more from Gavel Grab.

August 5, 2014

In Bergen County, N.J., family and civil trials expected to run longer than two weeks will be suspended due to a shortage of judges, caused in part by political battles over naming and confirming them. Gavel Grab has more.

August 1, 2014

Combined spending by both sides in advance of Tennessee’s heated Aug. 7 Supreme Court retention election has surpassed the $1 million mark, according to Justice at Stake. Gavel Grab has more. 

August 1, 2014

Legislators interested in changing the way Kansas Supreme Court justices are selected seized on a recent high court ruling that overturned death penalty sentences handed two brothers. Find out more from Gavel Grab.

July 29, 2014

At a Fair Courts State Summit hosted by JAS, Iowa Chief Justice Mark Cady described the public outreach effort undertaken by his court after it was shaken by a political earthquake in 2010. Gavel Grab has more.

July 25, 2014

A member of the New York Times editorial board said the ouster of three Tennessee Supreme Court justices in retention elections next month would send an intimidating message to elected judges nationwide. Find out more from Gavel Grab.

July 23, 2014

The air wars have begun in earnest over Tennessee’s Aug. 7 Supreme Court election. JAS said the engagement of one outside group, Americans for Prosperity, has the potential to “transform judicial politics in the United States.” For more, see Gavel Grab.

July 23, 2014

If Stanford law professor Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar is confirmed, he would become the only Latino serving on the California Supreme Court. Read Gavel Grab for more. 

July 22, 2014

When politics and justice collide, there are major concerns about the outcome, a TV news report said in spotlighting Justice at Stake’s concerns about the Tennessee Supreme Court retention election. Gavel Grab has details. 

July 22, 2014

An analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice shows that obstructionist politics over confirming federal judges has steep consequences for Americans seeking justice in our courts. Learn more from Gavel Grab.  

July 22, 2014

"[M]any of our state court systems are so poorly funded that they are at a tipping point of dysfunction,” concluded a white paper issued by DRI-The Voice of the Defense Bar about the economics of court funding. Gavel Grab has more. 

July 21, 2014

As advertising ramps up in the Tennessee Supreme Court retention election, Justice at Stake and the Brennan Center for Justice voiced concerns about the impact on impartial courts. Learn more from Gavel Grab.

July 18, 2014

As the Tennessee Supreme Court retention election ad wars get under way, JAS Executive Director Bert Brandenburg cautioned that  a big-spending contest could harm impartial courts. For more, see Gavel Grab.  

July 17, 2014

The Senate voted to confirm former Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronnie White to a federal judgeship, 17 years after he first was nominated for the post. Learn more from Gavel Grab.

July 15, 2014

A Washington-based group, the Republican State Leadership Committee, has begun sending out a pre-election mailer in Tennessee that urges, “Bench our liberal Supreme Court justices.” Gavel Grab has more. 

July 15, 2014

A coin toss to determine the winner in a tied race for a local judgeship? It actually happened in McKinley County, New Mexico. Find out more from Gavel Grab.

July 11, 2014

There's more politics in judicial retention elections, Justice at Stake said, and when judges are forced to defend against ouster campaigns, they raise large sums as their campaigns have done in Tennessee. Gavel Grab has details. 

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