Justice at Stake says $3.1M spent on state Supreme Court primaries

David Yates Sep. 12, 2014, 10:30am

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – Millions of dollars are being raised and spent in high court elections all across the county, according to a Thursday Justice at Stake press release.

More than $3.1 million has already been spent this year on TV ads in state supreme court primaries and off-cycle elections, according to estimates provided by Kantar Media/CMAG.

Three states with off-cycle elections - Tennessee, Idaho, and Arkansas - saw greater spending than in their last election cycle, while North Carolina had record spending in its primary, more than $1.3 million, the press release states.

In November, eight states will have contested elections for their supreme courts and 14 states will have retention elections, where judges face a yes-or-no vote.

Outside groups also spent heavily in Arkansas and Tennessee this year, accounting for 88 and 53 percent of TV spending in those states, respectively. This is the first time the Brennan Center and Justice at Stake have documented special interest spending in those states. Special interest groups were responsible for 38 percent of total TV spending in 2011-12, and they have constituted 60 percent of TV spending in 2014 to date.

Justice at Stake is a nonpartisan campaign working to keep America’s courts fair and impartial.

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve democracy and justice.

Reach David Yates at elections@legalnewsline.com

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