Friday, September 10, 2010

United States Supreme Court addresses Judicial Campaign Contributions

The United States Supreme Court recently weighed-in on the subject of judicial campaign donations, and the situations in which a judge or justice should recuse himself or herself where one of the parties has financially supported that jurist's campaign.  In  Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co., 129 S. Ct. 2252 (2009), the Supreme Court ruled that a state supreme court justice whose vote had been critical in an opinion overturning a $50 million verdict should have recused himself because of millions of dollars in support given by the president of the defendant corporation to a political group dedicated to that justice's election to the court.  That executive, Don Blankenship, has been more recently in the news following his company's role in a fatal mine explosion earlier this year.

John Hadden's full article on this case, published in the Summer 2010 issue of "The Verdict," can be found reprinted here.

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