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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

US Supreme Court Will Hear Judicial Campaign Cash Case Today

Today is the day the United States Supreme Court will ask how much is too much?

The case being argued in the Capitol deals with judges receiving campaign donations, and whether that then compromises their abilities to be impartial and hear cases from those who underwrote their quest for elective office.

At issue is whether a newly elected justice on the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals should have stepped aside in a case involving a coal company executive who spent $3 million to help defeat the former occupant of that justice's seat on the state high court.

The underlying case was a template for John Grisham's bestselling 2008 legal thriller "The Appeal." Not a bad piece here below in the Christian Science Monitor, which talks about one judge getting $3 million. But if getting money is wrong, does it matter how much? Kind of like that joke about a guy who goes to pick up a woman:

"Would you have sex with me for $500 bucks?

'Sure, let's do it.'

"But I only have $10 dollars. Is that enough?"

'Hell, no, what kind of woman do you think I am?'

"We have already established that. We are just dickering about the price."

Maybe in a righteous world judges should not have to grovel for cash to get elected; that merit selection, real merit selection, is the better way to go.

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