Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/202531
Title:
Independent Expenditures in Judicial Elections
Author:
Ross, Joseph V.
Issue Date:
2011
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
In recent years, judicial elections have undergone a transformation: races once characterized by low levels of competition, interest and participation are now comparable, in some states, to races for governor or senator. Elections for the bench as a whole are now more expensive, competitive and politicized than ever before. Arguably the most influential change in the last ten years has been the emergence of independent expenditures by political action committees and other groups in races for seats on state supreme courts. Despite the growth of this type of spending, our understanding of independent expenditures is rather limited, as the distinction between independent expenditures and direct contributions to candidates is rarely made clear.I address this in this dissertation by examining the patterns of independent spending in states with elected supreme courts. In doing so, I develop a theoretical framework to explain the decision of individual groups to support a judicial candidate independently. I argue that this decision is shaped largely by the campaign regulations imposed on judicial candidates and their potential supporters. Expectations from this theory are tested throughout the remainder of the dissertation using an original set of data drawn directly from state disclosure records. I find that independent expenditures have been concentrated in only a few states in recent years and that campaign regulations are influential in shaping this aggregate behavior. Contribution limits, in particular, redirect money from candidates' campaigns to independent expenditures. This is particularly significant due to the unique nature of judicial elections and the role of a judge in American politics. The results of the statistical and case study analyses should give pause to participants in the normative debates regarding campaign finance and judicial reform as they suggest that regulations can have unintended, but important consequences.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
election law; independent expenditures; judicial elections; state courts; Political Science; campaign finance; contribution limits
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Political Science
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Westerland, Chad

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleIndependent Expenditures in Judicial Electionsen_US
dc.creatorRoss, Joseph V.en_US
dc.contributor.authorRoss, Joseph V.en_US
dc.date.issued2011-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractIn recent years, judicial elections have undergone a transformation: races once characterized by low levels of competition, interest and participation are now comparable, in some states, to races for governor or senator. Elections for the bench as a whole are now more expensive, competitive and politicized than ever before. Arguably the most influential change in the last ten years has been the emergence of independent expenditures by political action committees and other groups in races for seats on state supreme courts. Despite the growth of this type of spending, our understanding of independent expenditures is rather limited, as the distinction between independent expenditures and direct contributions to candidates is rarely made clear.I address this in this dissertation by examining the patterns of independent spending in states with elected supreme courts. In doing so, I develop a theoretical framework to explain the decision of individual groups to support a judicial candidate independently. I argue that this decision is shaped largely by the campaign regulations imposed on judicial candidates and their potential supporters. Expectations from this theory are tested throughout the remainder of the dissertation using an original set of data drawn directly from state disclosure records. I find that independent expenditures have been concentrated in only a few states in recent years and that campaign regulations are influential in shaping this aggregate behavior. Contribution limits, in particular, redirect money from candidates' campaigns to independent expenditures. This is particularly significant due to the unique nature of judicial elections and the role of a judge in American politics. The results of the statistical and case study analyses should give pause to participants in the normative debates regarding campaign finance and judicial reform as they suggest that regulations can have unintended, but important consequences.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectelection lawen_US
dc.subjectindependent expendituresen_US
dc.subjectjudicial electionsen_US
dc.subjectstate courtsen_US
dc.subjectPolitical Scienceen_US
dc.subjectcampaign financeen_US
dc.subjectcontribution limitsen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplinePolitical Scienceen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorWesterland, Chaden_US
dc.contributor.committeememberNorrander, Barbaraen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWillerton, John P.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHartley, Roger E.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWesterland, Chaden_US
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