Judges and Money (part one)

May 14, 2015

Can state Supreme Court judges remain impartial after legally receiving money to fund their campaigns?


Judges and Money (part one)

From traffic court to the Supreme Court, you might think that the best way to address a judge in America is “Your Honor.” It's a sign of respect given to men and women whose integrity is supposed to make them impartial and unbiased when weighing matters of criminal and civil law. But the honor of some American judges is now being jeopardized by the potentially corrupting influence of politics and money. That's because in some states judges have to pay for election campaigns to win seats on the bench. Meaning they take financial contributions from donors. Donors who one day may appear in the winning judge's court. So tonight, On Target put judicial elections on trial. Alabama is where one of the biggest, nastiest judicial elections took place in 2006. Sue Bell Cobb won the seat that year as Chief Justice. But since she retired in 2011, she's telling a story that not everyone wants to hear: that you can't have a judge take money from a donor and then remain impartial when that donor appears before the judge in court. The risk, of course, is a system where it's Money for Justice. Watch part two


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