The Influence of Campaign Contributors Over Elected Judges
21 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2012 Last revised: 31 Aug 2012
Date Written: 2012
I constructed an original dataset of campaign contributions and case outcomes at the state supreme court level. I coded 350 cases from the 2011-2012 terms across 14 diverse state supreme courts. I find that judges in my sample are more likely to vote with campaign contributors in both non-partisan and partisan states. However, certain electoral institutions constrain these effects. There is less of an effect in states that impose strict contribution limits and have longer term lengths. Moreover, the effects of contributions are more pronounced in states with partisan ballots.
Keywords: Campaign contributions, state supreme courts, electoral institutions
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