Dr Jacek Srokosz
University of Opole
Abstract: The article presents the US Supreme Court judgment issued in 2002 in case Republican Party of Minnesota v. White, in which the Court held unconstitutional the clauses which introduced restrictions in presenting the candidates’ views on controversial legal and social issues during the judicial election campaign in Minnesota. The article discusses the essence of the judicial election, the limitations for the candidates during electoral campaigns, and the general dispute about how judges are selected in the US. Against this background, the facts of the case, the decisions of the courts of first and second instances and of the Supreme Court are presented, as well as Antonin Scalia’s argumentation justifying the ruling and the dissenting opinions. The author’s goal is to analyse the Supreme Court’s ruling in the context of its critics’ forecasts that it would result in politicisation of the judicial election process leading to a lowering of the authority of the judiciary and the emergence of doubts about the impartiality and independence of judges.
Keywords: judicial election, politicisation, Republican Party of Minnesota v. White, impartiality and independence of judges, accountability of judges, freedom of speech, electoral campaign
Published: Number 3(18)/2018, pp. 51-63.