Are The Courts Up For Sale?

Are The Courts Up For Sale?

Election Day is less than two weeks away. With that said, recent floods of news have been reporting on the amount of money spent by numerous groups in the various judicial races across the country. Much of these reports are from the Brennan Center for Justice and Justice at Stake. Joint analysis and data tracking took place to provide these reports.


According to the reports, the amount spent by the various Supreme Court candidates and outside groups on television ads has already surpassed $9.1 million. Several sources have made statements about this particular issue, including The Charlotte Observer, reporting that:

“Partisan interest groups have invested millions in the races for four seats on the N.C. Supreme Court”.

The website of Brennan Center, the spending data and other issues have been addressed by Andre Cohen. Cohen described this situation as a “two-pronged assault on the rule of law” in his commentary, Crime, Justice, Money, Politics: A Brew That Corrodes the Rule of Law. Another article that made use of the studies is a Washington Post blog that stated:

“Outside groups and political parties are driving judicial campaigning”.

The blog focused on the 63% of TV ads paid for by political parties and outside groups. Concerning the Ohio Supreme Court elections, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that “Republican Supreme Court Justices hold big fundraising lead over Democratic opponents.”

The amount of spending by Supreme Court candidates and outside groups are breaking money records all over the country. There are several questions that people are likely to be asking from here on out: are acts like these becoming the new norm? Will more money be spent in future elections?  For more information on the issue of courts being 'up for sale', visit