Section of Litigation

Caperton v. Massey

ABA Amicus Curiae Briefs in Caperton v. Massey -- ABA Amicus Brief on the Merits -- ABA Amicus Brief in Support of Petition for Writ of Certiorari   U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Caperton v. Massey As argued in the ABA amicus curie briefs, on June 8, 2009 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution required the recusal of the West Virginia Supreme Court justice who was elected with the help of more than $3 million in contributions from a coal mining executive. Click here to read more. 

Then ABA President Tommy Wells applauded the Supreme Court’s ruling that judges should withdraw from considering cases before them when contributions to their election campaigns by parties to those cases influenced the outcome of the judge’s election, creating a “serious risk of actual bias.”  In his June 8, 2009 press release, Mr. Wells stated “the ABA Standing Committee on Judicial Independence, working through its Judicial Disqualification Project, will continue to refine those and other factors into a series of guidelines for courts to assess whether contributions to judges’ campaigns implicate the due process rights of parties appearing before them. This evaluative process is one way to restore the public confidence in our courts so critical to preserving our government of laws.”

Transcript of March 3, 2009, Supreme Court Oral Arguments

 

Hon. William Maupin, SCJI Chair William Weisenberg, Meryl Chertoff, Prof. Keith Fisher and ABA past President Dennis Archer

Justice for Sale?  Contributions to Judicial Elections in the Wake of the Supreme Court’s Decision in Caperton v. Massey.

On July 30th at the 2009 ABA Annual Meeting, the Standing Committee on Judicial Independence held a Presidential Showcase program, Justice for Sale?  Contributions to Judicial Elections in the Wake of the Supreme Court’s Decision in Caperton v. Massey.  ABA past President H. Thomas Wells Jr. made opening remarks at the widely-attended and high profile program.  The panelists included ABA past President Dennis W. Archer, Meryl Chertoff of the Sandra Day O’Connor Project on the State of the Judiciary, Hon. William A. Maupin, Professor Keith Fisher and Standing Committee on Judicial Independence Chair William Weisenberg. 

  • To view the program, click here.
  • To read more about the program, click here.
  • To purchase the DVD program recording and corresponding written materials, click here.