Special Interests Control Our Judges
Campaign cash compromises their integrity: Adam Cohen
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Oct 31, 2011 4:59 PM CDT
Campaign money is hurting the fairness of the judicial system, Adam Cohen writes.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – It’s not just legislative and executive elections that are unfairly influenced by big money. America needs to wake up to the power of special interests in judicial elections, writes Adam Cohen in Time. A new study sees “big business, corporate lobbyists, and trial lawyers” spending cash to get the judges they want elected. The result: “courts that are filled with judges whose first loyalty is not to justice—or to the general public—but to insurance companies, big business and other special interests," Cohen writes.

In many cases, single-issue groups are running the show. Take Iowa, for instance: Special interests bought attack ads to help push out the judges who supported gay marriage. What’s more, state disclosure laws often allow the special-interest donors to remain anonymous. The authors of the study call for increased public financing for judicial elections. Others suggest ditching direct judicial elections and having judges appointed. What’s clear, writes Cohen, is that “the American ideal of justice requires neutral judges, whose only commitment is to the law."

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Showing 3 of 22 comments
Nov 2, 2011 7:12 AM CDT
This article hits the nail right on the head. But it did not go far enough; It didn't mention the U.S. Supreme Court. The conservative members of the court are blatantly in the back pocket of U.S. Corporations.
Nov 1, 2011 8:52 AM CDT
Judges are the most easily corrupted people in our Government. They have their Boy's Club among lawyers that bribe the shit out of every judge while drinking at the Country Club. Piss test and polygraph every one of the cocksucking pigs. Bust the ones that fail.
Oct 31, 2011 9:35 PM CDT
Finally you're getting to the core of the problem..this country is a PLUTOCRACY..ruled by the money changers for the money changers.Wall st and big business (corporate America) call all the shots via lobbyists and pouring money into elections-IE the supreme court ruling giving them status as an individual..NOTHING will change without MAJOR changes in the legislature..term limits..changes in the court system and other government changes..and the top 1% will NOT GIVE up their power easily..they are trying to "buy out" the police and fire fighters and have them take sides in the union fight..divide and conquer..the USA is FUBAR with out social revolution