Judicial Campaign Code of Conduct Committee

As a public service, the Tennessee Bar Association works to help assure that judicial elections are conducted in a manner that will maintain confidence in our judiciary.

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Staff Coordinator
Tennessee Bar Association
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Nashville, TN 37219

Outside Groups Set Spending Record in Judicial Races

Outside groups spent more money on campaigns for seats on state courts nationwide than ever before, an analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice shows. At least one court seat was at stake in 27 states on Election Day. Special interest groups spent a record $19.4 million on television ads for judicial candidates, over half of all television spending in these races. The Republican State Leadership Committee spent the most of any group, putting $4 million into eight different races as part of its effort to elect more conservative justices. But incumbent judges had money in their corners too. “I think it can be misleading to just look at money going to challengers who lose and then concluding the money had no impact,” said Alicia Bannon, a senior counsel with the center. The Marshall Project looks at judicial elections in several key states.

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Spending Yields Mixed Results in State Court Races

Millions of dollars in campaign spending produced mixed results for the conservative and liberal groups seeking to sway state supreme courts around the country, the Associated Press reports. Sitting justices fought back big-dollar opposition in Kansas and Washington, although liberal-leaning groups gained influence on the North Carolina Supreme Court. Outside groups spent a record $16.4 million on television spots this election cycle, topping the $13.5 million spent during the 2012 campaign, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. Total television spending, including ads by the candidates themselves, neared $33 million, just shy of the amount spent four years ago. ABC News has the story.

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