In State Judicial Races, a Media Eye on Justice at Stake

In both Wisconsin and West Virginia, news media relied on data compiled by Justice at Stake and the Brennan Center for Justice to keep readers up to date about the latest spending in state judicial elections.

JAS-LogoWhen The Wisconsin Gazette reported on “The high cost of a high court seat in Wisconsin,” it attributed a total spending sum of at least $4.3 million in the Wisconsin Supreme Court election to an analysis by JAS and its partner organization.

Following the election, in which Justice Rebecca Bradley defeated Court of Appeals Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg, JAS Executive Director Susan Liss said, “So far 2016 is off to a very rough start, as we’ve seen outside groups spend heavily and succeed in defeating two Supreme Court candidates in Arkansas, with the same thing happening in Wisconsin just weeks later. This doesn’t bode well for the judicial elections ahead this year.”

Moyers & Company similarly mentioned the analysis by JAS and the Brennan Center when reporting on the Wisconsin election spending totals.

The West Virginia Record, meanwhile, is following a five-person race for the state Supreme Court, and it reported that the two candidates who are making use of a public financing option have spent nearly $150,000 on TV ads so far.

“So far, the tone of campaign ads in West Virginia’s Supreme Court race has been constructive and we’ve seen no sign of outside spending by special interests,” The Record quoted Liss of JAS as saying. “The state deserves credit for reforms it has put in place to help make this possible, and we hope that these positive trends continue all the way through Election Day.”