Academic journal article Justice System Journal

Canons, Cost, and Competition in State Supreme Court Elections

Academic journal article Justice System Journal

Canons, Cost, and Competition in State Supreme Court Elections

Article excerpt

C. Scott Peters, "Canons, Cost, and Competition in State Supreme Court Elections," Judicature 91 (July-August 2007): 27-35.

Campaign spending in partisan and nonpartisan state judicial elections has come under a great deal of scrutiny in recent years. The most obvious concern is the influence of campaign spending on judicial decision making and the integrity of state courts. C. Scott Peters examines the effect of state canons of ethics on the cost and competitiveness of nonpartisan and partisan state supreme court elections from 1998 through 2004. In general, these canons prohibit or constrain with varying degrees of success a judicial candidate from engaging in political support or advocacy of issues or legal matters (such as "announce clauses" or "pledge and promise clauses") while seeking office. Additionally, states may limit a judicial candidate's partisan political activities and methods of campaign solicitation. Because of the constraint of "announce clauses" on political speech, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Republican Party of Minnesota v. White, 536 U.S. 765 (2002), that Minnesota's "announce clause" was unconstitutional and in violation of the First Amendment. …

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