Conservative Campaign to Oust State Judges Failed


A $14 million campaign by conservatives to oust Democratic state supreme court judges in Tennessee, North Carolina, Kansas, and Montana was a failure, reports Slate. Not a single judge was voted off the bench in the four states. Aided by progressives and bipartisan state bar associations, the judges fought back and won. Conservatives were hoping to replicate their victory in 2010, when anti-gay groups goaded Iowa voters into knocking off three Iowa Supreme Court judges who had voted for marriage equality.

But similar efforts to target specific judges failed last week. Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern writes, “No matter what the Supreme Court thinks, judges are not politicians, and Americans don't seem too eager to treat them like political animals. It's fine to vote out a politician for a vote you don't like, but voting out a judge for a decision you disagree with clashes with the most basic principles of judicial independence. At the end of the day, most Americans understand that a judgeship should not go to the highest bidder or the biggest spender.”

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