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November 08, 2006

State judicial races

By Ted Frank

Ohio: Even as Dems won just about every other statewide office, the two GOP candidates won Supreme Court seats in elections there, reducing trial-lawyer allies to a two-justice minority on a seven-justice court. Jonathan Adler comments.

Michigan: Two GOP incumbents won re-election, including potential Supreme Court nominee Maura Corrigan.

In Georgia and Washington, however, Justices Hunstein and Owens held onto their seats easily against challenges from reformer candidates. Not good news for the eventual disposition of reform legislation in Georgia. Perhaps Jonathan Wilson will comment.

Oregon: Plaintiffs' attorney candidate Virginia Linder appears to be leading American Justice Partnership-supported Jack Roberts for an open Supreme Court seat.

North Carolina: Two Democratic incumbents won, and a Democrat won the election for an open seat formerly held by a Republican, cutting the Republican majority there to 4-3.

Colorado: A proposition to establish term limits for judges was defeated. With an incoming Democratic governor, this may not be such a bad thing for judicial activism opponents in the short run.

In lower court races in southern Illinois, trial-lawyer-supported candidate Bruce Stewart defeated sitting judge Steve McGlynn in an multi-million-dollar intermediate appellate race, meaning that Madison County judges will have slightly freer reign; the Fifth District has generally acted as a rubber-stamp for some of the outrageous decisions coming out of Madison County. One hopes that Senator Obama's endorsement and campaigning for Stewart reflected party concerns, rather than him becoming another Democrat captured by the trial bar. A trial-lawyer-supported candidate also defeated sitting Madison County Judge Don Weber; three other sitting judges won retention elections.

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Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.