The fallout from the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in United Citizens v The FEC continues even at The State Of The Union Address. Retired Supreme Court Judge Sandra Day O’Connor weighed in on a controversial decision by her former colleagues.Nina Totenberg of NPR iinterviewed Justice O’Connor about the ruling.Justice O’Connor reminded us that our nation’s founder’s biggest issue it had with King George was the absence of judicial Independence.
In Alabama , a record amount of $ 14.5 million dollars was spent for a single judicial seat. The Court’s ruling now opens the floodgates for judicial elections in Tennessee and elsewhere.Justice O’Connor opines " the majority in Citizens United has signaled that the problem of campaign contributions in judicial elections might get considerably worse".In striking down the ban on corporate contributions last week O’Connor further stated that " ignoring the role of special-interest money , particularly in judicial elections , is like ignoring an alligator in your bath tub".
Judges in Tennessee have great power over day to day decisions that effect all Tennesseans. From sentencing those found guilty of a crime to car wreck cases, the courts hold the power. I can only hope we guard against any abuse in the legal system. Our goal as Americans is to keep the judicial system independent.Like it or not it ‘s the best thing going in the world today. Citizens can address these grievances in court and hope to get a fair trial , not one that is bought and paid for by special interests with big pockets of money and an agenda to fill. Do we as Tennesseans want to spend $14.5 million for a judge’s seat ?