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Why Electing Judges Is a Bad Idea

Esquire's Charles P. Pierce comments that electing judges continues to be a bad idea--especially since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United that the government may not keep corporations or unions from spending money in support of candidates.

The Brennan Center for Justice has documented that $3.5 million in TV and radio ads have been bought so far this year regarding state supreme court elections in 10 states.

The problems include charter-school proponents giving to supreme-court candidates in Washington and Louisiana while lawsuits over the public funding of charter schools are pending. In Montana, one candidate has been criticized for "refusing" to give prison time to child pornographers and giving only a year sentence to man who repeatedly raped a 10-year-old; but those ads don't mention that those sentences involved plea bargains under the discretion of prosectuors.