Money and Judcial Elections
Posted on Sunday, August 21st, 2011 at 4:44 pm
A recent article I read in the New York Times highlights how special interest money can diminish society’s faith in the justice system . Special Interest groups like the Chamber of Commerce are able to pump lots of money into judicial races with hopes that the judges they contribute to will make decisions benefitting Big Business. Despite what Special Interest groups like the Chamber of Commerce say publicly, the policies they support are generally at the expense of the average citizen.
Judges in Mississippi are elected in much the same way as the judges featured in this New York Times editorial. Big Business Special Interest Groups pump millions of dollars into Mississippi judicial races too. Because the wheels of justice turn slowly, it takes the public a long time to realize a problem exists but it appears that voters in Mississippi are catching on.
Generally, its only after something bad happens that the average person realizes what a “bill of goods” they have been sold by Big Insurance and Big Business Special Interest Groups.
In my law practice, I regularly have the unpleasant opportunity to explain how judicial and legislative acts, spurred by special interest groups, have limited average the citizens’ rights and ability to make things right. Often times clients are shocked by what I tell them.
The problem is simple. Regular hard working people cannot compete with Big Business Money when it comes to campaign contributions. Additionally, regular hardworking Amercians dont have time to monitor trends and changes in judicial or leislative policy to stay informed. Meanwhile, Businesses are spending lots of money to evaluate risks and limit their own liability in everyway possible. Doing everything they can to make it easier avoid liability for their mistakes!
The best thing we can do is educate ourselves about a judical candidates positions and more importantly who their contributors are. I think one can learn a lot more about a candidate’s real position by looking at their contributors. As a general rule, when you see lawyers who represent average citizens, not corporations, contribute to judicial races, it means the lawyers believe the judge will uphold the law and not take away a citizen’s ability and rights to correct a wrong they have suffered.