Judiciary

PAC funds attack ad claiming North Carolina justice is not tough on child molesters


Justice for All NC's ad.

A political action committee called Justice for All NC is funding an attack ad that claims a North Carolina Supreme Court justice is “not tough on child molesters” and “not fair to victims.”

The ad targets Justice Robin Hudson for a 2010 dissent in which she said it was unconstitutional to apply a law requiring electronic monitoring of child molesters to people convicted before the law passed. The New York Times, WUNC and WRAL have stories, while the Charlotte Observer has an op-ed. The ad can be see on YouTube.

“No question,” the Charlotte Observer says. “North Carolina has joined those states where outside groups with special interest agendas plow millions of dollars into an effort to buy seats on the state’s highest court.” Hudson is running against two challengers in today’s primary election.

The PAC that aired the ad received $900,000 from the Republican State Leadership Committee, which is expanding its support for conservatives running for political office to conservative judicial candidates, the New York Times says. The RSLC receives its money from individuals and corporations, including Duke Energy, Blue Cross Blue Shield and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The state chamber of commerce, meanwhile, is funding Hudson’s two opponents with money from companies such as Reynolds American, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Koch Industries.

Justice at Stake executive director Bert Brandenburg notes that the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling removed restrictions on independent campaign spending by corporations. “Judicial races are getting swamped in this tidal wave of political money,” Brandenburg told the Times.

Brandenburg also noted that North Carolina eliminated public funding for judicial races last year. “This is probably just the tip of the spear in terms of the amount of money that the judges will see around them on the campaign trail,” he told WUNC.

Updated on May 7 to add the video.

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