What’s So Important About State Supreme Courts?

Commentary on the importance of our state supreme courts by FCA Executive Director Andrew Wynne.

Many voters are starting to pay more and more attention to down-ballot races lately.  Elections for state judiciary, and State Supreme Courts, in particular, are vitally important to protecting and preserving the constitutional order of government.  It’s the difference between being a government of laws or a government of men.

Here are three examples of why it matters:

Liberal activists on State Supreme Courts want to make policy, not decide cases.  Many policy decisions passed by legislatures and signed by Governors get challenged by special interest groups.  Liberal activists on State Supreme Courts want to replace their policy preferences with the ones enacted by the constitutional process of legislatures and governors.  Social policy like reasonable restrictions on late-term abortions, education policy like school choice initiatives and education savings accounts, legal policy like limitations on lawsuit damages, and labor policy like right-to-work rules, have all been challenged in state courts after being passed by legislatures and enacted by Governors.  Constitutional conservatives on State Supreme Courts know their role isn’t to act as a SuperLegislature. It’sto apply the law as written to the rules laid out by the state constitution.

A state’s business climate is affected by the state’s lawsuit climate.  Have you ever driven through a state and been surprised by how many personal injury lawyers advertise on highway billboards?  It’s effective marketing in a state where every jury award could be a jackpot for a trial lawyer.  States with these kinds of lawsuit climates have higher costs for businesses and families, stifling economic growth and investment.  Electing constitutional conservatives to state courts will lead to enforcing the rule of law over the directives of equity and fairness.

The left has increasingly turned to courts to impact the outcomes of elections.  Any and all manner of election integrity proposals will draw an immediate challenge from activists.  Common sense measures like requiring a voter to prove who they are before casting a ballot, or requiring ballots to be received by a certain date in order to be counted, are decried as unconstitutional, or worse, racist, by those seeking nothing more than political power through litigation.

Constitutional conservative judges recognize that voters who follow the rules are disenfranchised when election administrators use authority never delegated to them and apply new rules and standards to only a select group of voters.

This is why Fair Courts America educates voters about the important choices before them in state court elections.  That’s what’s so important about State Supreme Courts.

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