Professor C. Scott Peters at the University of Northern Iowa has taken a closer look at the new politics of judicial elections. In a recent issue of the Justice System Journal, Professor Peters concludes that “at the moment, state supreme court elections or appear in transition — gradually losing their special nature, but, on the whole, not yet fully “political.”
Among the findings:
- In 2006, 71% of Supreme Court candidates surveyed indicated that parties or interest groups attempted to influence their campaigns.
- “Interest groups have increased their influence on state supreme court elections through the use of candidate questionnaires.”
- Only 10% of candidates said the money spent by candidates was not a factor in their election and nearly 75% indicated that it was an important factor.
“Given the link between money and professionalize campaign techniques,” Professor Peters concludes, “one can expect that as money flows into these elections in greater amounts, campaigns will continue their progression toward fully politicized campaigns, in both her organization and their messages.”