Outside groups spent more money on campaigns for seats on top state courts nationwide than ever before, an analysis by The Brennan Center for Justice shows. At least one seat was at stake in 27 states on Election Day, according The Marshall Project.
Special interest organizations — most of which don’t have to disclose their donors under campaign finance laws — put a record $19.4 million into TV ads for judicial candidates, over half of all TV spending in these races. The Republican State Leadership Committee spent the most of any group, putting $4 million into eight different races as part of its stated effort to elect more conservative justices.
The spending largely failed to unseat the judges it targeted. In Kansas, Washington and Mississippi, for example, justices held onto their jobs despite costly efforts to remove them.
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