High court appears divided over whether judicial candidates can ask for cash

By Reity O'Brien

U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments over rights of judges to seek contributions; case could undo limits in 30 states

Excerpts from this story referencing "Antonin Scalia":

"… tive and executive offices.  Justices Samuel Alito, John Roberts and Antonin Scalia appeared sympathetic to the First Amendment arguments presented on behalf …"

U.S. Supreme Court to rule on judicial campaign contributions

By Reity O'Brien

Florida free speech case before U.S. Supreme Court could overturn 30 states' bans on judicial candidates asking for campaign donations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Antonin Scalia":

"… of First Amendment protection.” Such a view was underscored by Justice Antonin Scalia’s majority opinion in the 2002 ruling on The Republican Party …"

Florida homeowners catch a break in courts

By Alison Fitzgerald

The state Supreme Court revisited foreclosure court procedures after a Center report.

Supreme court justices earn quarter-million in cash on the side

By Reity O'Brien

Nearly all Supreme Court justices reported earning thousands for teaching and book royalties beyond their federal salaries.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… ng to new financial disclosure reports released Friday and reviewed by the Center for Public Integrity. Justice Sonia Sotomayor did not report any outside income in 2013, despi …"

"… sts then pick them up either in person or have them sent in the mail. The Center for Public Integrity has made them available online as PDFs below.     …"

Fourth case reopened after Center uncovers judicial conflict of interest

By Chris Young

U.S. appeals court reopened foreclosure case after Center uncovered that a judge owned stock in Wells Fargo, court reaches same decision.

Tennessee Supreme Court declines to review case featured in Center report

By Susan Ferriss

Tennessee teen truant was jailed, allegedly without being informed of right to counsel.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Tennessee":

"… ncy court—did not fit the burden of proof needed to grant an appeal. …"

"… the hundreds of accused truants summoned to Knox County Juvenile Court in Tennessee in recent years were incarcerated in juvenile detention, drug tested or fa …"

"… asting consequences without the benefit of appointed defense counsel. The Tennessee State Supreme Court did not provide any commentary or rationale accompanyi …"

"… decision. “Our clients have exhausted their legal remedies through the Tennessee courts. We are planning to pursue other avenues of redress,” said Dean R …"

Donors, friends of governors often get state supreme court nod

By Rachel Baye

Judicial elections are often criticized for corrupting influence, but appointment process has problems too.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Institute":

"… mpaign, totaling $7,500, between 2002 and 2006, according to data from the National Institute on Money in State Politics. Recktenwald "had an established record of pub …"

Federal judges plead guilty

By Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Chris Young

Judges acknowledge conflicts of interest Center found in 26 cases.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Judicial Center":

"… uated from Ivy League law schools, according to the Center’s analysis of Federal Judicial Center data. That says nothing of their influence on the bench. Appeals court ju …"

Supreme Court opens door to flood of political cash — again

By Michael Beckel

Citing First Amendment concerns, 5-4 Supreme Court majority tosses out aggregate limits on campaign contributions.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… nor can financially support. The decision is the most important since the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case in 2010, which allowed for unlimited corporate and union spending in …"

State judges: We don't need no stinkin' disclosure

By John Dunbar, Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Chris Young

Officials defend limited financial disclosure for high court judges.

State supreme court judges reveal scant financial information

By Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Chris Young

Despite universally poor disclosure rules, Center finds numerous conflicts among state high court judges.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Utah":

"… requesters to pick up reports in person while judges in Montana, Utah and Idaho aren’t required to file any disclosure reports …"

Mudslinging the new normal in judicial elections?

By Reity O'Brien

Super PACs and nonprofits targeted state judicial elections in 2012, study says.

Supreme Court mulls axing campaign donation limits in 'McCutcheon' case

By Michael Beckel

Nine justices appeared divided on 'McCutcheon' campaign money case.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate":

"… ces, arguing that should party leaders such as the speaker of the House or Senate majority leader solicit seven-figure checks there is an "inherent risk of …"

"… t the aggregate limits was attorney Bobby Burchfield, who was representing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. A vocal supporter of campaign finan …"

Justice Alito's reported wealth soars in 2012

By Reity O'Brien

Newly filed financial disclosure shows justice owns stock in energy, tech and pharmaceutical companies.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Samuel Alito":

"… ated. Adam Wollner contributed to this report. …"

Majority of Supreme Court members millionaires

By Reity O'Brien and Chris Young

At least five and as many as eight of nine U.S. Supreme Court justices are millionaires, filings show.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Antonin Scalia":

"… een $2.8 million and $6.6 million, ranking him No. 4. As for the rest: Antonin Scalia, appointed by former President Ronald Reagan, reported a net worth between …"

Justice for sale in state supreme court elections?

By Bill Buzenberg

Outside groups are funneling more and more money into state races, which is a trend the Center will be following.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Communications Commission":

"… ysis of campaign finance reports, tax records and documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission. Tracking all outside spending is nearly impossible thanks to lax state d …"

D.C.-based groups bombarded state high court races with ads

By Alan Suderman and Ben Wieder

Nearly $12 million spent by super PACs and nonprofits in 2012-13 state supreme court races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Communications Commission":

"… ed from campaign finance reports, tax records and documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission — originated outside the election states, mostly from Washington, D.C.-b …"

"… 88,000, according to records filed by Memphis television stations with the Federal Communications Commission. The ads portrayed Phillips as a greedy trial attorney. The total does not …"

Sonia Sotomayor courts riches from book deal

By Reity O'Brien

Supreme Court justice rakes in nearly $2 million from advances, appearances.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Stephen Breyer":

"… here. The publishing industry was also good, but not as good, to Justices Stephen Breyer and Antonin Scalia. Breyer made roughly $30,890 in book royalties, while …"

Family Research Council defends traditional marriage by bankrolling Republicans

By Michael Beckel

Family Research Council's PAC dispenses cash to numerous GOP politicians.

N.C.'s public financing system drowned out by outside spending

By Chris Young

State supreme court elections vulnerable to outside spending by ideological groups.

Excerpts from this story referencing "general election":

"… ion, but the four candidates have spent a combined $1.8 million during the general election campaign.Loughry’s campaign produced three ads – two of which prominen …"

Right-wing groups attempt to dislodge justices in Florida, Iowa

By Chris Young

Supreme court justices in two states are under siege from groups that oppose their rulings.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Republican Party of Florida":

"… time since the system was created in 1976, the executive committee of the Republican Party of Florida voted unanimously to oppose the justices up for retention.Leading the char …"

FACT CHECK: Romney misfires with EPA anecdote

By FactCheck.Org

Romney uses story of Idaho couple to criticize Obama administration, but leaves out crucial details.

Excerpts from this story referencing "George H.W. Bush":

"… mes McClure to be a U.S. district judge, and he was nominated by President George H.W. Bush. Lodge’s ruling was later upheld by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeal …"

FACT CHECK: Obama eats his words on overturning health care law

By FactCheck.Org

President forced to backtrack from comment that overturning Affordable Care Act is 'unprecendented.'

Excerpts from this story referencing "Obama":

"… dented” to overturn a law passed by Congress.– Brooks Jackson …"

"… w health care law.He made that statement April 2 in a news conference:Obama, April 2: "Ultimately, I’m confident that the Supreme Court will no …"

"… court to strike down a law, why did he say it was? The following day Obama was challenged by the outgoing chairman of The Associated Press, Dean …"

"… an economic issue,” and said the court had not done that since the 1930s.Obama, April 3: "Well, first of all, let me be very specific. We have not s …"

Supreme Court will hear challenge to health reform law

By Joe Eaton

Individual mandate will be focus of oral arguments in March

Lawyer tries again to get U.S. Supreme Court to hear Holocaust-related suit

By Amy Biegelsen

A lawyer is asking the U.S. Supreme Court for a second time to hear a case related to a federal block on Holocaust victims’ families suing E

Excerpts from this story referencing "Freedom of Information Act":

"… disputes.However, Weiss’s attorney, Sam Dubbin, received documents in a Freedom of Information Act request this summer revealing that internally, high-ranking Justice Depart …"

House committee moves to allow suits for military medical malpractice

By Nick Schwellenbach

Congress moved Wednesday toward allowing soldiers to sue military medical personnel for medical malpractice, except in cases related to comb

Excerpts from this story referencing "Antonin Scalia":

"… upreme Court ruling in 1987, though current Justices John Paul Stevens and Antonin Scalia dissented. Scalia wrote, in the dissent, “Feres was wrongly decided, and …"

The political donation histories of Obama’s potential new justices

By Aaron Mehta

When word leaked Thursday night that Supreme Court Justice David Souter is planning to retire after this court term ends, it took about 30 s

Excerpts from this story referencing "Stanford":

"… rican on the Supreme Court.Kathleen Sullivan, who was formerly the head of Stanford’s law school, donated the maximum amount of $2,300 to both Obama and Hil …"

"… election efforts last year totaling $550.Pamela Karlan, a law professor at Stanford University, has nine contributions, all to Democrats. Interestingly, befor …"

New study shows campaign money affects judicial decisions

By Te-Ping Chen

PaperTrail has some homework for Supreme Court justices, regarding Caperton v. Massey, a case they heard arguments for yesterday. A recent s

Montana Supreme Court Weighs I-154’S Fate

By Josh Israel

Both sides in ballot-initiative fight file appeal briefs

Excerpts from this story referencing "Montana Supreme Court":

"… ef (122.93 KB) …"

"… collected the required signatures to put the initiatives on the ballot.The Montana Supreme Court has not announced whether it will hold oral arguments, how many judges wil …"

Sunset in Harrisburg

By Robert Morlino

Lack of lobbyist regulation results in a zero score for Pennsylvania