According to the Brennan Center for Justice, television ad spending for state Supreme Court candidate races surpassed $29.7 million in 2012. That was a record.
“Political parties and outside groups have dominated TV spending this election season, and are responsible for nearly 70% of the approximately $8.9 million that has been spent on TV ads since the start of September, according to data provided by TNS Media Intelligence/CMAG.”
More recently. a new Brennan Center report looked at state supreme court elections for the 2017–18 cycle. As it turns out, many state court races across the country today are highly politicized and awash with money. A lot of of that money may come people with cases in before the court or hidden interest groups that that have an interest in the court’s outcome.
A lot of special interest money comes from all over the country to various candidates. Some of this is dark money, which comes from groups with undisclosed backers.
Research suggests that this money his has had an effect on how judges rule. Election year financial pressures sometimes result in better outcomes for big donors and political party supporters.
Spending on state high court elections has skyrocketed in recent years. As judicial elections come to resemble partisan elections, this can lower the public’s confidence in the judiciary. If judges are little more than robed politicians, why would they have trust in a judges supposed impartiality?
It’s a serious problem that has only gotten worse in recent years.
How has the growing expense of local judicial elections changed the way you operate your campaign or fund raise?