Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Weekend Contributor
The answer to the question posed in the title, in the state of Wisconsin, is $8 Million dollars. For those of us who think Judges are not and should not be politicians, the situation in Wisconsin is especially disturbing. However, Wisconsin is not alone in this dilemma. Thirty nine states elect their judges and the money flowing into those campaigns is increasing the concerns of special interests “purchasing” justice. Professor Turley has also commented in the past about the alarming amounts of money flowing into judicial elections.
In a recent United States Supreme Court decision, Chief Justice Roberts weighed in on money and politics in judicial elections. “Last week, the United States Supreme Court upheld a Florida judicial rule that prohibits candidates for election to state judgeships from personally soliciting money for their campaigns. ‘ “Judges are not politicians,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., wrote in the majority opinion in the 5-4 decision, “even when they come to the bench by way of the ballot.” He went on, “Simply put, Florida and most other States have concluded that the public may lack confidence in a judge’s ability to administer justice without fear or favor if he comes to office by asking for favors.” ‘ New Yorker Continue reading