Argument: Lawyers may fund judge campaigns to influence trials

Issue Report: Election of judges


“Elect to appoint judges instead”. York Daily Record. June 12, 2009: “These statewide races are expensive — they can cost millions. Where do you think all that money comes from? In many cases, lawyers.

Lawyers who often wind up trying cases before the very judges they helped elect.

Hmmm . . .

Now, judges and judicial candidates will protest that they have high integrity. And most of them do.

But some of them don’t. Now impeached Supreme Court Justice Rolf Larsen reportedly kept a list of friends who’d made political contributions to his election campaign — which he used to help form his judicial decisions, according to an investigating grand jury. So these campaign contributions do pose a potential threat to the integrity of justice.”

John Baer. “Time to end electing judges”. Philadelphia Daily News. May 20, 2009: “Campaigns are funded by lawyers who later appear before the judges they help elect. So even apart from the pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey (or elephant) aspect of the process, electing judges begs for politics to influence justice. Just the possibility that it will is enough to diminish faith in our courts.”