Friday, December 12, 2014

Gavel Grab » Column: Independent Spending Dominated 2014 Judicial Elections

by Ronald K.L. Collins:
Question: You have long been on record as being a critic of the [Supreme] Court’s decision in Buckley v. Valeo (1976). You maintain that the “American system of campaign financing is extremely porous and is widely and probably correctly believed to constitute a thinly disguised system of quasi-bribes of elected officials; at the very least it tilts the playing field very steeply toward the wealthy and the well organized . . . .” Given that, how bad in your view have things become in light of rulings such as McCutcheon v. FEC (2014)?
Judge Richard Posner: Very bad.
Gavel Grab » Column: Independent Spending Dominated 2014 Judicial Elections:
Large-scale independent spending ushered in by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision dominated this year’s judicial elections, according to the Center for American Progress.

Independent spending totaled more than $8.5 million of an overall $15 million spent on the elections, according to CAP, which said it was the first time that independent spending outpaced candidate spending.

In a column entitled “The Million Dollar Judges of 2014,” CAP reported the following top state judges whose campaigns benefited from more than $1 million in spending, including by lawyers or corporations who might appear before them in court: North Carolina Chief Justice Mark Martin, Ohio Justice Judith French, and Michigan Justices Brian Zahra and Richard Bernstein. The column by Billy Corriher concluded:
“The 2014 election vividly illustrates former U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens’ warning in his Citizens United dissent that the majority had ‘unleashed the floodgates’ of spending in judicial races. Groups unaffiliated with the candidates can often accept unlimited contributions, and most judicial ethics rules do not even mention independent spending as a basis for recusal. Reforms such as public financing for judicial candidates, merit selection for judges, and stricter recusal rules could help ensure that donors cannot buy justice.”
- See more at:

'via Blog this'

No comments:

Post a Comment