James L. Gibson (Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.), Annenberg doctoral student Jeffrey A. Gottfried, Annenberg Dean Michael X. Delli Carpini, Ph.D., and APPC Director Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Ph.D., co-authored an article, "The Effects of Judicial Campaign Activity on the Legitimacy of Courts: A Survey-based Experiment," that appears in the September 2011 issue of Political
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Americans who live in states that hold partisan judicial elections are more cynical toward the courts than Americans who live in states that do not hold partisan elections. Partisan judicial elections foster the belief that “judges are just politicians in robes.” Partisan judicial elections also decrease public trust that state courts are
Thirty-nine states elect their judges in some fashion. What once were “sleepy little affairs,” judicial campaigns have become high-stakes races, drawing in big money and increasingly negative advertising campaigns. In 2006, an estimated $16 million was spent on advertising in supreme court races in 10 states, a record. If predictions hold true, contests in 2008
Nearly two-thirds, 65 percent, of Americans prefer electing their judges rather than having governors nominate them from a list prepared by a nonpartisan committee. Yet when judges run for office they usually have to raise money for their election campaigns. Seven in 10 Americans believe that the necessity to raise campaign funds will affect a
The Annenberg Public Policy Center and FactCheck.org are sponsoring the first-ever conference on advertising in judicial elections on May 23 in Washington, D.C. Mudslinging in Judicial Campaigns: Beginning to Look a Lot Like Congress will bring together judges, campaign media consultants and close observers of the escalation in money spent on ads in state Supreme Court races. In 2006, spending
Many Americans Lack Basic Understanding of the Judiciary Americans consistently rank the Supreme Court as the most trusted branch of government and hold a similar level of trust in state courts. But many also believe that the nation’s courts favor the wealthy and politically connected, that judges are motivated by political and personal biases, and
Eight out of ten Americans and 94 percent of lawyers feel that the process of confirming judges to the Supreme Court has become increasingly political, according to a national survey conducted by the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center.