Gavel Grab

Brennan Center’s Efforts in WV Public Finance Case Highlighted

In the debate over West Virginia’s public financing program for state Supreme Court candidates, the Brennan Center for Justice has stepped up to represent judicial candidate, Allen Loughry, in an effort to defend the state’s pilot public finance project (see Gavel Grab).

The Brennan Center filed a lawsuit this week with the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals in order to prevent election officials from blocking public funding for Loughry’s campaign, according to a West Virginia Record article.

Senior Counsel to the Brennan Center, Adam Skaggs, has spoken out in favor of the public financing program and allowing Loughry to use the available funds.

“West Virginia’s public financing program for judicial elections is a critical response to the risks associated with skyrocketing spending in judicial election campaigns,” said Skaggs. “Because judicial candidates can finance their campaigns with public funds, they don’t have to dial for dollars from the very lawyers and parties who may appear before them in court,” Skaggs continued.

The Brennan Center is a JAS partner group. You can read the Center’s press release on public financing in West Virginia here.

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New Podcast on Judicial Diversity

Diversity on the bench is the topic of the newest “Ears on Justice” podcast, posted online this week. We offer highlights  from a June 9 panel discussion of current studies and trends concerning federal and state courts.

The panel, part of Justice at Stake’s annual summer workshop in D.C., featured Tom Hilbink of the Open Society Institute, Ciara Torres-Spelliscy of the Brennan Center for Justice, Professor Sally Kenney of the University of Minnesota and Hilary Meyer of Lambda Legal.  

Click here to listen.

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Merit Selection Endorsed by a Few Newspapers, and More Reaction to Boumediene

Quite a few noteworthy stories that we will cover today.

This editorial from the Charlotte Observer explains why there is a need for merit selection in Carolina courts.

Meanwhile in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin State Journal shares the Observer’s feelings on merit selection, and would like to see it implemented in Wisconsin. While Shark and Shepherd critiques Journal’s views on merit selection.

Lastly, Jonathan Hafetz of the Brennan Center, gives his view on the Boumediene decision and the messages that should come from the decision, as well as what the decision did not answer.

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