But the high stakes reflect what could have happened elsewhere – and in some cases, did. In Ohio, Justice Pat DeWine of the State Supreme Court rejected calls last fall to reuse myself from redistricting lawsuits in which his father – Governor Mike DeWine, a Republican – was the defendant. A few days later, the state’s Republican Party called for a Democratic justice, Jennifer Brenner, reuse yourself because she caused problems with redistricting when she ran for office.
Nationally, 38 of the 50 states elect judges to their highest courts instead of appointing them. For decades, those races received little attention. But growing partisan divisions are turning what were once sleepy races for the judiciary into front-line battles for ideological domination of the influential courts. to the lives of the people.
The U.S. Supreme Court issued 68 opinions this past term. The State Supreme Courts decide more than 10,000 cases each year. Increasingly, businesses and advocacy groups are turning to them to rule on important issues – gerrymandering is one, abortion is another – where the federal courts are hostile or disapproving. receive.
Campaign spend highlights trends. A new report from the Brennan Center for Justice, of New York University, concluded that a record $97 million was spent in 76 State Supreme Court races in the most recent election cycle. More than four out of 10 dollars come from political parties and interest groups, including conservative non-profit organization Crisis Justice Network, which has funded national campaigns in support of recent Republican candidates to the US Supreme Court.
Most interest group spending is related to so-called dark money, in which the identities of donors are concealed. Conservative groups spent $18.9 million in the 2019-20 cycle, the report states, but liberal groups, spending $14.9 million, are catching up quickly.
The money has paid off. In 2019, a $1.3 million hit from a Republican State Leadership Committee last-minute ad was credited with bringing a GOP-backed candidate to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. , Brian Hagedorn, won with 6,000 votes out of 1.2 million votes.
Liberal groups didn’t match that success. But they have stronger conservatives in recent races in Michigan and North Carolina.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/29/us/north-carolina-voting-gerrymandering.html In North Carolina, a battle between Gerrymanders and the judge