University of Denver

Bipartisan Coalition Discusses Dangers of Judicial Politics

IAALS Intern

On Bill Moyer's show, Sally Pederson and Joy Corning, co-founders of a bipartisan coalition called Justice Not Politics, discuss the risks to the judicial system when "justices are at the mercy of partisan passions and money in politics." Justice Not Politics successfully campaigned against conservative groups in Iowa that were working to oust a justice involved in a 2009 unanimous decision recognizing a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

Pederson and Corning warn that efforts to politicize courts risk the independence of the Judicial Branch. Citizens must be able to trust that judges are making decisions based on the Constitution and the law instead of what special interests or corporations want. "[I]f you're a judge and you know what a particular party's stand is on an issue, and that issue comes before you, then, you know, you may think twice about how you decide that, because you know that party will come after you. That's, that's a terrible way to operate our courts."