Opinion: Can We Have Impartial Courts if Judges Campaign?

In a New York Times opinion piece, attorney Dorothy J. Samuels ponders whether we can have impartial courts if judges campaign like ordinary politicians. Expensive state judicial elections are “destined to undermine the core American principle of fair and impartial courts,” she states. Samuels worries that if the campaign to oust Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary Wade and Justices Cornelia Clark and Sharon Lee is successful, it may send an intimidating message to elected judges nationwide, who may hesitate to render correct but controversial rulings, especially near an election.

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