The law of capitalism

16 Feb

The Impact of Citizens United on Judicial Elections. Further why can’t I find a judge willing to follow the law. It is clear that the concerned citizen or dispossessed homeowner has no dog in the fight. The result is clear judges will support the banks the FDIC because there support and bias is now tied to the law of Capitalism. As can be seen in the sweetheart deal that One West Bank gets when they agree to buy Inymac Bank they get 90% buyback guarantee for paper they only pay a fraction of face value. Then we look to see who the major stockholders are and it becomes clear who benefits at the expense of the taxpayer. Oh whops i went to find the major stock holders where on yahoo only to find they are not publicly held that explains a lot.It’s privately held by a “consortium of private investors.” That means there’s no public stock, and presumably no stock symbol. This privacy is presumably why it gets away with being one of only four major mortgage companies who have not signed on to the “Making Home Affordable” Plan, as of 6/30/09.Read more: Q/OneWest_Bank_Group_LLC_stock_symbol#ixzz1E8b8GmYj
In enforcing its rights under the loans purchased from IndyMac, OneWest Bank has taken a much more aggressive approach to foreclosing on properties.

In Citizens United v. FEC,[1] the United States Supreme Court struck down the long-standing federal ban on corporate independent expenditures in elections.[ii] The transformational effect that unrestricted corporate and union spending will have on elections for legislative and executive offices has been widely denounced.[iii] But the most severe impact of Citizens United may be felt in state judicial elections.

Just last year, the Supreme Court ordered a West Virginia judge disqualified from hearing the case of a campaign supporter who had spent extravagantly to elect the judge. It did so after concluding that, by refusing to step aside from hearing his benefactor’s case, the judge had violated the opposing party’s constitutional right to a fair hearing before an impartial court.[iv] Yet, by opening the door to expanded corporate spending in judicial races, Citizens United is likely to make this type of conflict of interest more common, and to increase pressures on judges who seek to remain independent and impartial.

Equally important, heightened spending in judicial races will almost certainly exacerbate existing public concerns that justice is for sale to the highest bidder. As Justice John Paul Stevens noted in dissent, the Citizens United decision came at a time “when concerns about the conduct of judicial elections have reached a fever pitch.”[v] And after Citizens United, if retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s predictions are correct, “the problem of campaign contributions in judicial elections might get considerably worse and quite soon.”[vi]

This paper examines the damage that runaway spending in judicial elections is having on our state judiciaries, and offers several policy recommendations that states should consider in responding to the threat that outsized campaign spending poses to fair and independent courts. It first summarizes recent trends in judicial election spending and documents the impact that escalating spending is having on public confidence in the courts. Next, the paper highlights seven states in which Citizens United’s impact on judicial campaigns is likely to be significant, and explains why the decision is likely to spur increased special interest spending in judicial elections. The paper concludes with proposals for responding to our increasingly expensive judicial elections: public financing for judicial campaigns; enhanced disclosure and disqualification rules; and replacing judicial elections with merit selection systems in which bipartisan committees nominate the most qualified applicants, governors appoint judges from the nominees, and voters choose whether to retain the judges at the ballot box.

Retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor recently explained the risks that unlimited campaign spending poses to fair and independent courts — and the likelihood that Citizens United will intensify these risks:

If you’re a litigant appearing before a judge, it makes sense to invest in that judge’s campaign. No states can possibly benefit from having that much money injected into a political judicial campaign. The appearance of bias is high, and it destroys any credibility in the courts.

[After Citizens United], we can anticipate labor unions’ trial lawyers might have the means to win one kind of an election, and that a tobacco company or other corporation might win in another election. If both sides open up their spending, mutually assured destruction is probably the most likely outcome. It would end both judicial impartiality and public perception of impartiality.[vii]

The threat to our state courts is real — and serious. Thirty-nine states use elections to select some or all of their judges.[viii] According to the National Center on State Courts, nearly 9 in 10 — fully 87% — of all state judges run in elections, either to gain a seat on the bench in the first place, or to keep the seat once there.[ix] In a 2001 poll of state and local judges, more than 90% of all elected judges nationwide said they are under pressure to raise money in election years, and almost every elected judge on a state high court — 97% — said they were under a “great deal” or at least some pressure to raise money in the years they faced election.[x]

Corporations and special interests are already major spenders in judicial campaigns. As repeat players in high-stakes litigation, these groups have strong incentives to support judges they believe are likely to favor their interests. This is particularly true on state high courts, where electing a majority or a crucial swing vote can make the difference in litigation involving multi-million dollar claims. As a result, business interests and lawyers account for nearly two-thirds of all contributions to state supreme court candidates. Pro-business groups have a distinct advantage: in 2005-2006, for example, they were responsible for 44% of all contributions to supreme court candidates, compared with 21% for lawyers.[xi] In 2006, pro-business groups were responsible for more than 90% of all spending by interest groups on television advertising in supreme court campaigns.[xii]

This special interest spending has occurred in judicial elections despite the fact that approximately half the states previously banned or sharply restricted corporations from using treasury funds for campaign advocacy. None of these restrictions is permissible after Citizens United. The inevitable result will be increased corporate spending in judicial elections — and increased threats to independent and impartial courts.

One Response to “The law of capitalism”

  1. Peter Schaps February 16, 2011 at 8:54 am #

    In the alternative to judicial elections, whereby judicial candidates might have to reveal their particular political ideologies to the voting public before the voter casts a vote, judicial candidates may tend to conceal certain political ideologies that would hold in subsequent rulings contrary to the American constitution. Like it or not the era and acts of progressive non impartial judges legislating from the bench is coming to an end or at the very least will become more transparent.

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