justice for sale

how bad is it? Interviews, Reports and Polls on Judicial Independence and Integrity and the  Influence of Money in Judges' Races
SOME INSIDE VIEWS
Interview with U.S. Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer and Anthony Kennedy.

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)
interview with bill book

The president of Pennsylvanians for Effective Government, a business lobby, discusses advocating and raising money for judicial candidates sympathetic to business interests.
interview with helen lavelle

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.
interview with tom phillips

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.
REPORTS
the buying of the bench

This 1998 Nation article by Sheila Kaplan and Zoe Davidson documents how special interests are operating unchecked in courts throughout the country.
Judicial Election and Judicial Independence Concerns - Stepping Up to the Plate

An analyst for the National Center for State Courts warns judges, lawyers, and court professionals of the growing crisis in judicial elections.
State Lines: Is U.S. Justice Undermined by Campaign Contributions?

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)
WHAT THE POLLS SAY
An ABA Survey:  Perceptions of the U.S. Justice System

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.
NCSC's National Conference on Public Trust andConfidence in the Justice System

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." .

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