In this rare public interview, the Justices discuss why campaign
contributions to judicial races may be undermining judicial integrity and independence. (You
can also watch video excerpts from this interview)
The president of Pennsylvanians
for Effective Government, a business lobby, discusses advocating and raising money for judicial
candidates sympathetic to business interests.
A media consultant for a
Pennsylvania judge who won re-election in 1999, Lavelle explains that many states have a system where elections for judges can be bought.
Dissatisfied with the current conduct of partisan elections in his state, the Chief Justice of the Texas State Supreme Court argues
for campaign finance reform to limit money's influence in the races.
This 1998 Nation article by Sheila Kaplan and Zoe Davidson documents how
special interests are operating unchecked in courts throughout the country.
An analyst for the National Center for State Courts warns judges, lawyers, and court professionals of the growing crisis in judicial elections.
OpenSecrets.org is the website of the Center for Responsive Politics; it compiles information about the money that flows into the U.S. election system. In this article, writer Michael Scherer discusses whether conflicts of interest and ad campaigns deepen public distrust in judicial elections.
(Center for Responsive Politics, September 2001)
This August 1998 survey of 1,000 randomly selected respondents showed a general public confidence in the justice system, but an "uneven" knowledge of its workings.
The vast majority of respondents to this poll held that "elected judges are influenced by having to raise campaign funds." The poll, funded by the Hearst Corporation and conducted early in 1999, surveyed 1826 Americans on their views of "the courts in their community."
how bad is it? ·
what's happening in my state? ·
how did we come to elect judges?
how should judges be selected? ·
pbs online ·
some images copyright © 1999 photodisc all rights reserved
web site copyright 1995-2014
WGBH educational foundation