WSJ: Judges Step Up Electioneering, Outside Money Pours In

Print View

Our friend Jon King from KGVO radio in Missoula has a must-see video as Montana Supreme Court candidate Lawrence VanDyke “argues for evidence of hypocrisy in the Mike Wheat campaign.”

Here it is: 

VanDyke made a similar point to The Wall Street Journal“Trial lawyers have been spending big money in judicial elections here for decades,” Mr. Van Dyke said. 

Here’s more from the WSJ piece:

In Montana, the Republican State Leadership Committee began sending out leaflets last week criticizing Mike Wheat, who is seeking re-election to the state Supreme Court. The leaflets paint Justice Wheat as an activist judge who helped foreign companies seize private property and sided with “environmental extremists.”

Mr. Van Dyke, a former lawyer at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, said he learned of the Republican committee’s pamphlets only as they hit mailboxes. The Republican committee has also bought about $60,000 of airtime for a television ad extolling Mr. Van Dyke’s commitment to defending rights and strictly enforcing criminal laws, according to Federal Election Commission records, and is also running a radio ad.

Mr. Van Dyke said the group’s spending was a counterweight to independent expenditures by political groups organized by trial lawyers, who favor Justice Wheat.




Al Smith

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 8:04 PM

Amazing! Wish I hadn’t read the article! Down right scary! Who would think a judge seat could be bought by either outside interest money for whatever reason or by trial lawyers who may one day stand before those judges? The “election” of judges should be tossed onto the trash heap of history. I suggest a better system would be the nomination by the Governor and the subsequent approval of nominees for judgeships by the Montana Legislature.

Thankfully there are those in the legislature who are taking a close look at the overall Montana Justice System and recommending some very long over due changes. Those Legislators who will be seated in the next session need to carefully consider and approve those recommendations.

The state should also consider following the lead of Texas and now the federal government in establishing conviction integrity units tasked to review previous convictions to insure fairness based on prior and newly discovered evidence. Just sayin!

Dave Skinner

Thursday, October 16, 2014 3:30 PM

Governor nominate, Senate affirm or deny — Senate stays in session until justice for that term is selected.

Time to change the Constitution. We all know the Supremes are toys in the MTLA’s private sandbox.

J. C. Kantorowicz – Great Falls

Friday, October 17, 2014 8:15 AM

I find it very troubling that the Supreme Court Justices race has always been “non-partisan”. We all know what a bunch of hooey that is! Van Dyke is the first HONEST person to run for that office!

However, how well has the Supreme Court of the US performed, being appointed by the President and affirmed by Congress? You want that same process here in Montana?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *