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Washington: Supreme Court Race Has Led Some to Question Role of Ethnicity

Alli Gerkman
The outcome of a supreme court race has led some to question the role of ethnicity in judicial elections. Incumbent justice Steve Gonzalez’s opponent did not raise money or campaign but still garnered 42 percent of the vote . Observers note that voters who lack information about judicial candidates often cast their...

Iowa State Bar Association Released Its Biennial Survey of Attorneys on Judges and Justices

Alli Gerkman
The Iowa State Bar Association has released its biennial survey of practicing attorneys on judges and justices up for retention this November. The survey showed high approval ratings for all Iowa judges and justices, and the Bar Association plans to “urge voters this fall to retain all judges.”

Minnesota: Judicial Selection Commission Nominated Four Supreme Court Candidates (Updated)

Alli Gerkman
For Governor Dayton’s first appointment to the supreme court, the judicial selection commission nominated four candidates , including a U.S. attorney and three judges. The vacancy was created by Justice Helen Meyer’s retirement. Though not required to do so by the statute authorizing a merit selection process for...

Tennessee: Little-noticed order reverses ban against judges’ political donations

Alli Gerkman
The supreme court reversed one of the revisions it made to the code of judicial conduct in January, removing a prohibition against judges making campaign contributions to political candidates. The state bar supported the move as preserving judges’ First Amendment rights, but critics argue that judges should stay out...

Pennsylvania: Preliminary hearing in the case against Justice Joan Orie Melvin began July 30

Alli Gerkman
The preliminary hearing in the criminal case against Justice Joan Orie Melvin began on July 30. Melvin faces charges that she violated state law by using court staff to assist in her 2003 and 2009 supreme court campaigns. Two staffers testified that they were uncomfortable with the political work they were asked to do...

Iowa GOP chairman calls for ouster of another Supreme Court justice (Updated)

Alli Gerkman
The state Republican Party chair called for voters to remove one of four supreme court justices standing for retention in November. Justice David Wiggins participated in the 2009 unanimous ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in the state, and three of his colleagues lost their bids for retention in 2010. Iowans...