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Buying Justice: How the Media Frames Interest Group and Political Party Involvement in State Supreme Court Elections

27 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2010 Last revised: 31 Aug 2010

Beth Easter

Indiana University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

Media coverage of the role of interest groups and political parties in judicial elections has the potential to shape citizens’ attitudes toward the judiciary. By framing the participation of groups in certain ways, the media can influence the way that citizens perceive a problem such as unlimited third party spending and alter their final evaluation of the issues. This paper examines the media frames that are used to explain the participation of groups in judicial elections, and how the groups might have contributed to the development of the media’s frames. An exploratory factor analysis indicated that the elements clustered into four frames: buying justice, polluting elections, politization, and loopholes. Overall, groups were portrayed as having a negative impact on judicial elections and the judiciary. Even if groups were not directly influencing the decision-making of justices, the media’s frames were adding to the perception that justice is for sale.

Suggested Citation

Easter, Beth, Buying Justice: How the Media Frames Interest Group and Political Party Involvement in State Supreme Court Elections (2010). APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1657247

Beth Easter (Contact Author)

Indiana University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Bloomington, IN
United States

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