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

  • Another Elena Kagan - Miguel Estrada Connection: Justice Kagan and Miguel Estrada have had a long relationship that has confounded and surprised many of their skeptics. At Kagan's confirmat...
  • Rate of 5-4 Majority Opinion Authorship: As a general matter, the Justices that tend to carry the greatest ideological authority on the Supreme Court should be the ones authoring th...
  • Early OT09 Stats: I've finally finished the first edition of my OT09 statistics. First, the links: Term Index and Term Opinion Breakdown. Honestly, the nam...
  • Justice Ginsburg and the Future of the Court: One can only hope that Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) horded the tasteless Intrade contract for "Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Be Next Justice to Depar...
  • Final Term Index: Here is the final Term Index for October Term 2009. OT09_term_index_final