Tracing deep-pocketed special interest and partisan spending in state supreme court elections this year, veteran political analyst Norm Ornstein condemns what he labels dramatic changes to judicial elections in the post-Citizens United era.
At The Atlantic, Ornstein’s commentary has the headline, “Courting Corruption: The Auctioning of the Judicial System,” and a sub-headline, “Don’t believe the Citizens United pollyannas. Watching money flooding into elections for judges’ seat shows how dangerous unregulated campaigns can be.”
Ornstein focuses on an explosion of spending — especially from outside groups — in the North Carolina Supreme Court primary (see Gavel Grab) and Tennessee Supreme Court retention election (see Gavel Grab) in building an argument that the “worst of the new world of campaign finance post-Citizens United” is emerging in judicial elections.
Ornstein writes that “the concerted efforts by activist James Bopp to go state by state and remove all restrictions on how judicial elections are run—making them just like political campaigns—combined with the effective elimination of boundaries on funding and the blockage of disclosure, have dramatically changed judicial elections.” (more…)