Brennan Center’s Fair Courts Project

One of the important undertakings of the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law is the Fair Courts Project. From its self-description:

The Center’s Fair Courts Project works to preserve fair and impartial courts and their role as the ultimate guarantor of equal justice in our constitutional democracy. Our research, public education, and advocacy focus on improving selection systems (including elections), increasing diversity on the bench, promoting measures of accountability that are appropriate for judges, and keeping courts in balance with other governmental branches.

Among the Project’s publications are several of particular interest to Coffee Party Austin:

The Project publishes a weekly e-mail newsletter,  Fair Courts E-lerts, which presents a roundup of developments concerning judges and the judiciary. One recent E-lert reports that the budget proposed by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker,

if adopted, would “all but kill public financing for Supreme Court races.”  The public financing program … is in place for the first time this year.  Both candidates competing in the April 5 election for a seat on Wisconsin’s high court have opted into the public financing program.

Anyone who cringes at the prospect of more e-mail can read a summary of the Fair Courts E-lerts on the Fair Courts blog, which also includes other articles such as Andrew Silver’s “Two Years after Caperton, Small Steps Forward, Many More Strides Needed.”

Finally, the Project publishes accounts of court cases in which the Brennan Center has participated (mainly by filing amicus briefs). One that caught your blogger’s eye is Caperton v. Massey, one of the few recent Supreme Court decisions to impose any restraints on private funding of judicial election campaigns.

About Hamilton Richards

I retired in 2006 as a Senior Lecturer in Computer Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin. These days I volunteer technical support for Citizens' Climate Lobby (Austin chapter), Common Ground for Texans, (, Integrity Texas (, and several friends.
This entry was posted in Judicial election campaigns, Money in Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *