Faculty

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Prof. Sample Warn of Constitutional Crisis in State Courts

According to a new report authored by Professor James Sample, spending on state Supreme Court elections has more than doubled in the past decade, from $83.3 million in 1990-1999 to $206.9 million in 2000-2009, and deep-pocketed special interests play a dominant role in choosing state jurists.

The report, “The New Politics of Judicial Elections, 2000-2009: Decade of Change,” features a Foreword by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

In an interview with the Associated Press, included here in the Los Angeles Times, Sample said: “These corporations and trial lawyers have millions of millions of dollars at stake, and they feel if they can just spend a few million dollars to influence the outcome, it’s worth it. We’re sort of playing with fire when you’re putting this much money into our courts.”

The Associated Press article was picked up by hundreds of news outlets around the country. To listen to a radio interview with Professor Sample on this topic, please click here.

To read the full report, click here.

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