Sandra Day O’Connor calls for judicial campaign reform

An article in TPM Muckraker, 17 August 2010 begins:

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has taken up the cause of reforming state judicial campaign and election systems, writing that the “crisis of confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary is real and growing.” If left unaddressed, said O’Connor, “the perception that justice is for sale will undermine the rule of law that courts are supposed to uphold.”

O’Connor wrote these remarks in her introduction to a new Brennan Center report, The New Politics of Judicial Elections 2000–2009,

which concludes that partisan and special interest groups have grown far more organized in their efforts to use judicial elections to tilt the scales of justice. Campaign fundraising for judicial elections more than doubled from $83.3 million in 1990-1999 to $206.9 million in 2000-2009, according to the report.

This is welcome support for public citizen funding  for judicial elections in Texas. We can expect the “partisan and special interest groups” who have been pouring money into these elections to spend lavishly against our efforts to reduce its effectiveness.

About Hamilton Richards

He retired in 2006 as a Senior Lecturer in Computer Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin. These days he volunteers technical support for Citizens' Climate Lobby (Austin chapter), Common Ground for Texans, (, Integrity Texas (, Austin Rowing Club, and several friends.
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