Of judicial campaigns and public sentiment

The ratcheting up of state judicial elections in the past decade or so has led to some concern over the amounts of money spent on such campaigns and the effects that this campaigning may have on citizens’ views of the judiciary and legal institutions. The Situationist has an interesting post on this matter which outlines, among other things, a recent talk by former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the importance of an independent judiciary and a report on judicial elections and campaign contributions by Nina Totenberg on NPR’s Morning Edition.

My co-author, Damon Cann, and I recently published a piece in American Politics Research on the dynamics of citizens’ support for their state courts. In our paper “Homegrown Institutional Legitimacy: Assessing Citizens’ Diffuse Support for State Courts,” we find that, among other factors affecting citizens’ perceptions of state courts, judicial elections and campaign contribution concerns were negatively associated with citizens’ views of the legitimacy of state courts.


One Response to Of judicial campaigns and public sentiment

  1. This is interesting. I am writing a dissertation on partisan vs. nonpartisan judicial selection. In my research I find that most people in nonpartisan election systems are not as informed on judicial issues as those elected in partisan elections.