The Assault on Fair Courts: Why the Politicization of the Judiciary Is Harming Our Justice System and Democracy as a Whole

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 -
8:45am to 11:00am EDT
Open Society Foundations, 4th Fl Conf Rm 4D, 400 West 59th Street, NYC.
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WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Funders concerned with civil rights, government accountability, law and Justice, and public policy. The session will also be of interest to lawyers and individual donors.


This briefing will inform funders about the recent politicization of judicial elections and the harm it does to the provision of justice at the state and federal levels.  
For example: Last fall, three Iowa Supreme Court Justices were ousted at the polls after outside interests spent big money to unseat them over a decision on marriage issues—and the other four face a threat of impeachment.    Efforts are underway in legislatures across the country to replace merit selection of judges with high-spending election contests.   And just a few weeks ago, Wisconsin endured a nasty Supreme Court race, featuring record interest group spending on TV ads.
At this session, attendees will learn about work being done to improve judicial independence, advance diversity in the judiciary, and restore faith in the ability of our court systems to provide impartial justice. The speakers represent organizations that use a variety of strategies and tactics and represent a number of different constituencies, interest groups, and communities at state and federal levels.