Americans think 'justice is for sale'

October 29, 2013
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Money talks, the saying goes, and many Americans think it’s telling judges how to rule on cases, according to results of a poll released Thursday.

Justice at Stake and the Brennan Center for Justice commissioned the poll that found nearly 9 out of 10 Americans believe campaign donations affect courtroom decisions.

“They’re worried that justice is for sale,” Bert Brandenburg, executive director of Justice at Stake, said in a news release.

The poll asked 1,200 registered voters about campaign donations made directly to judges’ campaigns as well as about “independent spending,” in which outside groups spend their own money on TV ads and other election materials for or against a judicial candidate. The poll revealed that 87 percent of voters believe both kinds of spending have either “some” or “a great deal” of influence on judges’ decisions.

A judge should step aside, 92 percent of voters said, when one party in the case has either donated directly to the judge’s campaign or spent significantly on election materials designed to help elect the judge.

According to a new report by the two groups, independent spending on judicial races by special interest groups hit a record high in 2011-2012 of $15.4 million.

Randall T. Shepard, former Indiana chief justice, is a member of Justice at Stake’s board of directors. The group’s focus is keeping courts fair and impartial.

 

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  • full disclosure
    Justice at Stake is dedicated to push the Soros agenda of only judges appointed by non elected kommissars. From their website: :Key state issues and reforms concern the growing expenditure of money to elect judges and whether judges should be elected or appointed to the bench." Question ... who pays the freight for this group?
    • Yes Soros is here
      Here is Justice at Stake admitting that Soros funds them: http://www.justiceatstake.org/newsroom/justice-at-stake-in-the-news-18109/?wall_street_journal_soros_bets_on_nevada&show=news≠wsID=9033 So former Chief Justice Randall Shepard is a friend of George Soros and his Open Society?
    • democracy is a slogan for the war machine not a reality for americans
      Sure money affects voting in campaigns. But the cost of influencing elected judges via campaign contributions is a lot steeper and the outcomes less predictable than the cost of controlling them via the political appointment process. The political appointment process is one that puts elected officials in charge of appointment process in a place of heavy reliance on those large private professional organizations like the ABA who "vet" the candidates "professional qualifications" and also apply ideological acid-tests behind closed doors. When judges have to stand for election or re-election, the populace has a chance to veto what we the law-establishment think they should do. Most judgeship elections are uneventful but there are recent examples in Indiana which show that the electorate may still have an opinion in spite of our collective endorsements and approvals. Major changes to American society have happened in this century via judicial fiat rather than "democracy." Roe v Wade is one example and the trend of judicial approval of homosexual unions is another. It is odd that USA is now the top-cop in the world for "democracy" but the democratic will in the early 1970s against abortion or the democratic will against same sex unions was overcome not by elections nor public debate but essentially by judicial decision. Ironic that the US seeks to impose democracy on foreign societies that seem disinclined to it, even to the point of war of aggression to accomplish such aims, and yet at home when the democratic will does not bend the way the oligarchs want it to, they resort to other ways of accomplishing the social engineering nonetheless. Anyways, hopes and complaints to the contrary, it may be inevitable that election of judges will wither away just as Plato observed democracy inevitably declines into oligarchy. Plus ca change, plus le meme chose.
    • Soros has not left the buiding
      Proof that Justice at Stake is a George Soros operation: http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/printgroupProfile.asp?grpid=7661

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    2. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

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    5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

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