Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman of New York's high court will today announce the most sweeping rules ever regarding judges and election money, stating that "'no case shall be assigned' by court administrators to a judge when the lawyers or any of the participants involved donated $2,500 or more in the preceding two years." [NY Times]
There's no question that there is a problem in New York: as the Times article notes, there have been appalling quid pro quo arrangements where judges appoint campaign contributors to lucrative estate management positions that can generate millions in fees. But, as with other Chief Judge Lippman policy proposals, I wonder whether the unintended consequences have been entirely thought through. If I'm in New York state court, and dislike the judge my case has been assigned to, can I get a new judge for the mere cost of $2,500? If there's a twelve-judge division, can a $27,500 investment ensure that I get the one judge I'd prefer my case to be assigned to?