The New Politics of Judicial Elections (All Reports)

October 28, 2015

"We all expect judges to be accountable to the law rather than political supporters or special interests.  But elected judges in many states are compelled to solicit money for their election campaigns, sometimes from lawyers and parties appearing before them.  Whether or not these contributions actually tilt the scales of justice, three out of every four Americans believe that campaign contributions affect courtroom decisions. . . . For 10 years, the New Politics reports have played a leading role in documenting the growing threat to the credibility of our courts." -U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor

Since 2000, the Brennan Center's bi-annual reports on The New Politics of Judicial Elections have documented the alarming rise of money in judicial elections, the dramatic upsurge in special interest group involvement, and the tendency of judicial campaigns to become "noisier, nastier and costlier."  Below are links to the 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009-10, 2011-12, and 2013-14 editions of the report, as well as the first-ever decade overview of spending on state court races, produced with the Justice at Stake Campaign and the National Institute for Money in State Politics.

For storyboards and video links to television advertisements, please visit our Buying Time Homepage.

For an interactive database of television advertisements, see