A report titled “Bankrolling the Bench: The New Politics of Judicial Elections 2013-14” was posted online today, and it already has captured news media attention from Mother Jones magazine.
The latest in a series of “New Politics” reports since 2000 documents an election cycle that saw special-interest groups account for a record-high 29 percent of total spending in judicial races, according to the three legal reform groups that co-authored the report. The co-authors are Justice at Stake, the Brennan Center for Justice, and the National Institute on Money in State Politics.
Mother Jones highlighted the report’s central findings in an article that was headlined, “Huge Sums Are Pouring Into Judicial Elections, But That Would Never Affect the Courts, Right? A new report shows that the flood of independent spending in judicial races across the country continues to head skyward.”
With its eye on longterm trends, the magazine said, “Supreme Court justices in 38 states must face voters to either earn their seats or keep them. But over the last few years, what were once sleepy, local affairs have grown into multimillion-dollar races that have increasingly drawn the attention of special-interest groups from all over the country.” (more…)