The verdict: Justice is for sale
Andrew Cohen follows up the report released yesterday by Justice at Stake and the Brennan Center for Justice on outside money in judicial elections — particularly Supreme Court elections — asking this question: What’s the impact?
Justice at Stake’s Bert Brandenburg had this answer:
Here’s what we can measure: the impression that justice is for sale. Our polling has shown that more than 80 percent of voters believe campaign cash has an impact on judicial decision making. And the effects of that perception are pervasive. They may be subtle, but the harm is there. It might be felt in who decides to pursue or abandon legal redress at all, whether a voter decides to participate in a judicial election at all, whether sincere public servants decide to seek elevation to the bench or turn away from it, or whether businesses choose to bring jobs and industry to a community or go elsewhere.