06 March 2006

Why Are Judicial Elections Bad?

Judicial elections are bad because you get situations like this one:

The U.S. Supreme Court declined on Monday to hear a challenge to a ruling that overturned a $1.06 billion judgment against State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. over the parts used in collision repairs.

Without any comment, the high court rejected an appeal by the plaintiffs arguing that an Illinois Supreme Court justice should have removed himself from the case because he received more than $350,000 in donations from State Farm employees, its lawyers, its supporters or their lawyers.

Illinois selects its Supreme Court justices through partisan elections. The donations at issue occurred in connection with the judicial election in November 2004.

Whether or not the donations actually influenced the vote in the case, the Illinois Supreme Court is tarnished as a result. More details here.

No comments: