WSJ Op-ed on Judicial Elections

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting op-ed this weekend on state judicial elections.

Lloyd Karmeier, the winner of a $9.3 million campaign for the Illinois Supreme Court in 2004, was supported by $350,000 in direct contributions from employees, lawyers and others directly involved with the insurer State Farm and/or its then pending appeal, and by an additional $1 million from larger groups of which State Farm was a member, or to which it contributed. Almost immediately upon taking the bench, he cast a vote ending proceedings on a $456 million claim against State Farm. A St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial put it this way: “Although Mr. Karmeier is an intelligent and no doubt honest man, the manner of his election will cast doubt over every vote he casts in a business case.”

James Sample concludes that the the biases resulting from donations might be worse than we thought. Worth a read.


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Categories

Random Posts

  • Updates: I've updated a lot of the information on the Term Case Index in preparation for today's cases. I expect the Supreme Court to hand down 1-2 o...
  • Updated Advocate Scorecard (OT00-10): The Court's hearing list for this month completes the list of attorneys who will argue before the Supreme Court during October Term 2010. I'...
  • An Unusually Short Long Conference: The Supreme Court released an order list from yesterday's Long Conference and, in a surprising move, it granted only seven cases. That numbe...
  • Updated Term Stats: Term Index Vote Breakdown Vote Breakdown Stats --- You can see from the Term Index that Justice Stevens is the most likely author of...
  • First Opinion Stats: As we wait for the first opinion of the term, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the first signed opinion released in recen...