2010 Judicial Retention Watch | Illinois Judicial Election System | Retention elections present additional set of concerns | The Ballooning Costs of Judicial Campaigns | The Negative Impact of Judicial Campaign Spending | Kilbride's 2000 Election | Learn More

As an Ohio AFL-CIO official once said: “We figured out a long time ago
that it’s easier to elect seven judges than to elect 132 legislators.”


Overwhelmed by special interest groups’ and political parties’ attack ads in these campaigns, public confidence in the courts is eroding, and concern about these elections’ threat to the concept of an independent judiciary is growing.

A 2009 USA Today/ Gallup poll found that 89 percent of those surveyed said that the influence of campaign contributions on judges ruling is a problem; 52 percent deemed it a “major” problem.

Similarly, more than 90 percent those surveyed said that judges should be removed from a case if it involves an individual or group that contributed to that judge’s campaign.

Many states – including Texas, Alabama, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Louisiana – have served as the battleground for these expensive, divisive and bitter judicial campaigns.


And Illinois has not been spared.