- “The more campaign contributions from business interests justices receive, the more likely they are to vote for business litigants appearing before them in court.”
- If a justice’s campaign gets half of its contributions from business groups, then the justice would be expected to favor business interests by voting their way almost two-thirds of the time.
- The empirical relationship identified in the study between campaign contributions and justices’ voting exists “only in partisan and nonpartisan systems; there is no statistically significant relationship between money and voting in retention election systems,” when a justice stands in a yes-or-no contest with no opponent.
- For justices affiliated with the Democratic Party, the relationship between business contributions and voting is stronger than for justices affiliated with the GOP.
We all expect judges to be accountable to the law rather than to political supporters or special interests. But elected judges in many states are compelled to solicit money for their election campaigns, sometimes from lawyers and parties appearing before them. Whether or not these contributions actually tilt the scales of justice, three out of four Americans believe that campaign contributions affect courtroom decisions.This crisis of confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary is real and growing. Left unaddressed, the perception that justice is for sale will undermine the rule of law that courts are supposed to uphold.