Scott Gaylord questions need for public financing of judicial elections
In a June 24 opinion column in the News & Observer, Elon Law Professor Scott Gaylord writes that judicial elections strengthen the legitimacy of the judiciary and that public financing of judicial elections is unnecessary.
“Democracy has not collapsed in the states that elect their judges without a public financing system,” Gaylord writes in the News & Observer. “Nor is there any evidence that North Carolina’s judiciary lacked independence or integrity from 1868, when North Carolina started electing its judges, until the current public financing system was implemented in 2002. If a judge or justice ever abuses authority by favoring special interests, judicial elections empower us – the residents of North Carolina – to vote the judge out of office. Contrary to the opponents’ claims, this check on the judiciary reinforces accountability and legitimacy.”