Gavel Grab

JAS: It’s a Banner Year for Court Bashing in State Capitals



In numerous states, 2015 already has become a banner year for court bashing by elected politicians, Justice at Stake Interim Executive Director Liz Seaton writes in a commentary published by the Talking Points Memo:

“Are state legislatures breaking all records for attempts to rig our courts? The results are still coming in, yet it appears to be a banner year for elected politicians trying both new and well-established ways to bully, politicize or pack impartial courts.

“What’s alarming is that they are succeeding: Their efforts in Kansas, Wisconsin, and North Carolina have passed into law. These politicians want to rewrite the definition of justice from being blind to being blindly partisan. If citizens don’t stand up against these attacks, they may not be able to count on their constitutional guarantee of a fair day in court.”

Seaton says that it doesn’t matter which political party may be responsible because “there is a growing tide of pressure around our courts, and every American needs to worry about it. In Oklahoma and Washington state, elected politicians recently threatened to impeach judges over controversial rulings. If judges can’t make hard calls based on the law, without looking over their shoulder at threats of political retaliation or manipulation, it will become harder for them to uphold the Constitution and protect people’s rights.”

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