Campaign messages in lower-court elections after republican party of Minnesota vs. White

Brian K. Arbour, Mark J. McKenzie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Judicial scholars worry about the increasing use of attack advertising and hot-button issues in judicial elections. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Republican Party of Minnesota v. White has the potential to exacerbate these trends. By surveying lower-court candidates across six states, we investigate whether these trends have reached lower-court elections. We also investigate the effects of the White decision by using the varying interpretations of White in these states. Only a small minority of lower-court candidates take positions on politically charged issues or engage in negative campaigning. Most candidates campaign on traditional themes and issues, like experience and qualifications or court administration issues. Moreover, we find no evidence to suggest White has had any effect on the tone or content of judicial rhetoric.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalJustice System Journal
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

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