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.
Election 2010 News Releases
Election Day 2010 brought a new round of special interest money, nasty ads and wedge issue politics into America’s courtrooms, breaking several spending records and spreading costly, ideological hardball campaigns into new states.
Spending on state Supreme Court TV ads has exploded nationally as Election Day nears, with $3.3 million being spent in the week between Oct. 21 and Oct. 27. The TV binge has raised total ad spending to nearly $13 million for the 2009-10 election cycle, with business and conservative groups outspending lawyers and unions in every major state except Illinois.
Fueled by the same groups that created the most expensive high court election ever in 2004, an Illinois Supreme Court race has become the nation’s most expensive one-candidate retention election in this decade. TV spending also cracked the $1 million mark in Ohio, and TV ads began airing in two contentious races in Michigan.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 13, 2010—Voters choosing whether to retain an elected judge for another term should look at a jurist’s overall fitness, and not just focus on one specific decision they may disagree with, according to a new background sheet issued today by the Justice at Stake Campaign.
The guide said ousting judges over one-issue litmus tests could undermine the historic role of courts, which is to settle legal and constitutional disputes without regard to special interest or political agendas.
“Our system of justice depends on courts that are impartial, even when they handle controversial cases or face political attacks,” said the guide. “Ousting judges over a single decision could force courts to ignore constitutional rights in the face of political pressure.”
OCT. 8, 2010—A Democratic Illinois Supreme Court justice, faced with a potentially costly reelection challenge, has spent more on TV ads than any other candidate or group in this year’s state high-court elections, according to data compiled by a reform group, while a Chamber of Commerce group in Ohio last week launched an ad campaign supporting two Republican candidates.
Gay Marriage, Tax Fights Spark High-Profile Court Races New Web Site by Justice at Stake, Brennan Center Details 2010 Spending, TV Ads SEPT. 23, 2010—In a startling turn from the past decade, states that work to insulate judges from electoral pressures are facing some of the nation’s most contentious,...