34 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 1391 (2000-2001)
Interest Groups and Judicial Elections; Champagne, Anthony

handle is hein.journals/lla34 and id is 1423 raw text is: INTEREST GROUPS AND JUDICIAL
ELECTIONS
Anthony Champagne*
I. INTRODUCTION
Interest groups have, of course, long had a role in judicial elec-
tions (or, for that matter, judicial appointments). Interest groups
provide necessary funding for elective judges to reach voters. They
are also intermediaries between judicial candidates and voters in the
sense that they assist candidates in communicating with, and in mo-
bilizing, voters. Interest groups can also provide important cues to
voters about the attitudes and values of judicial candidates. In a re-
cent superior court race in California, for example, one candidate
obtained the endorsements of the Sacramento County Deputy Sher-
iff's Association and the Sacramento Police Officers' Association.'
If a voter knew nothing else about the candidate-for example, did
not know that the candidate had been a police officer for fourteen
years or a prosecutor for fifteen years-those endorsements would
provide a hint that the candidate was viewed as being pro-law en-
forcement. In states where the parties are not heavily involved in ju-
dicial elections, interest groups become crucial in providing cues to
voters about the attitudes and values of judicial candidates and in
mobilizing voters for the elections.
Although interest groups are often discussed in a pejorative
manner, they are essential to the functioning of a pluralist
* Professor, School of Social Sciences, The University of Texas at Dallas.
This paper was prepared specifically for the Summit on Improving Judicial
Selection. The views expressed in this paper are those of the author and do not
necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the National Center for State
Courts, the Joyce Foundation, or the Open Society Institute.
1. These endorsements (along with other interest group endorsements) are
found in Gary Delsohn, Spending, Integrity Hot Issues in Judge Race,
SACRAMENTO BEE, Sept. 10, 2000, at B1.
1391

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