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The Champion

January/February 2011 , Page 47 

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Voting Against Judicial Independence: The 2010 Elections and The Threat to the Judiciary

By Patrick Veasy

Campaigns to secure or retain political office are a regular part of a career dedicated to public service. Raising money, debating issues, and responding to attack ads are also routine parts of the election process. The 2010 election cycle proved no different for many incumbents and challengers, resulting in a new majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. Once the dust settled, election results offered more of a wake-up call to some than to others. But if there is one important characteristic about the past few American election cycles, it is the ever-increasing influence of money in campaigns. What is particularly disconcerting is that the influence of money and attack ads is dramatically threatening the impartiality of America’s judicial system.

As a consequence of last term’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission,1 bans on third-party spending in elections by corporations and unions ended, resulting in another a

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