Judicial elections, democratic appointment (e.g., senate confirmation), and the Missouri Plan (a/k/a "merit selection")

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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Money, Politics and Judicial Decisions

Money, Politics and Judicial Decisions

This article presents the results of a study of 106 decisions by the Supreme Court of Alabama from January 18, 1995 through July 9, 1999. The decisions are in the area of arbitration law and reveal the remarkably close correlation between a justice's votes on arbitration cases and his or her primary source or campaign funds. Justices whose election campaigns are funded by plaintiffs' lawyers oppose arbitration, whereas justices whose campaigns are funded by business favor arbitration. The correlation holds not just with regard to ideologically-charged doctrines, like unconscionability, but also with seemingly bland questions of contract formation, interpretation and waiver.

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