“Madison County judge reassigned after receiving campaign contributions”

by Walter Olson on December 15, 2011

“Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder was dropped Tuesday from hearing all asbestos cases less than a week after her campaign committee received $30,000 in contributions from three metro-east asbestos law firms.” [Belleville News-Democrat, followup (says she'll return money); Chamber-backed Madison/St. Clair Record, followup]

{ 3 comments }

1 Bill Poser 12.15.11 at 4:18 pm

I don’t know what went on in this particular case, but it points up a problem with this method of selecting judges. On the one hand, we don’t want judges to be influenced by campaign contributions, so recusal or removal from related cases is appropriate. On the other hand, this provides an easy way for interested parties to remove a judge they don’t like, quite possibly because the judge is fair and objective. Just make a donation to his or her campaign and the judge is off the case.

2 doug 12.15.11 at 6:46 pm

if the donation was done to get the judge removed, it would seem to be a simple matter for the judge to have returned the money once the donation had been received.

3 Smart Dude 12.15.11 at 10:09 pm

Unfair! They paid for her services fair and square.

Unless of course Mr. Poser is correct about contributing to get rid of a judge that Trial Lawyer Inc. does not want on the case.

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