Judicial Retirement Plans/Pensions Week

Most states have retirement systems or accounts within existing systems specifically for judges. All states and localities (for some limited jurisdiction judges) have been forced to reexamine their retirement and pensions systems for public employees in general, and those for judges in particular, in order to address the recent economic collapse. This week, we will be looking at state-level legislation acted upon (i.e. more than simply introduced) in 2009/2010 that addresses these issues, starting with the Northeastern states.

Special Edition: Judicial Campaign Contributions and Expenditures

On January 21, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The decision may be found here.

Citizens United, along with the Caperton case from 2009, may very well alter the playing field for judicial campaigns for decades to come. While several state courts of last resort have attempted to address issues through the judicial canons, the state legislatures have not been idle. This special edition of Gavel to Gavel looks at the legislation introduced in 2009 and thus far in 2010 that contend with Judicial Campaign Contributions and Expenditures.

The Special Edition can be found here.

Special Edition: Judicial Recusal

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co. contended with the issue of recusal and when a jurist’s refusal to do so was a due process violation. Coupled with the recent update to the ABA Mode Code of Judicial Conduct, several state judiciaries have begun to examine or reexamine their recusal standards.

State legislatures have not been idle either.  At least 17 states have examined issues surrounding the disqualification of judges from sitting on cases due to contributions to their campaigns or for other reasons. This special edition of Gavel to Gavel examines the legislation, sorted by what stage in the legislative process the bills reached as of July 2009.