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Supreme Court of the United States

Campaign finance

2018

Faculty Scholarship

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The Supreme Court, Judicial Elections, And Dark Money, Richard Briffault Jan 2018

The Supreme Court, Judicial Elections, And Dark Money, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

Judges, even when popularly elected, are not representatives; they are not agents for their voters, nor should they take voter preferences into account in adjudicating cases. However, popularly elected judges are representatives for some election law purposes. Unlike other elected officials, judges are not politicians. But judges are policy-makers. Judicial elections are subject to the same constitutional doctrines that govern voting on legislators, executives, and ballot propositions. Except when they are not. The same First Amendment doctrine that protects campaign speech in legislative, executive, and ballot proposition elections applies to campaign speech in judicial elections – but not in quite …