The St. Louis Post-Dispatch published an editorial today that comments on the U.S. Chamber's "slick" P.R. campaign to pressure state legislatures to tilt the legal playing field even more radically toward the interests of corporations.
Slate posted a interesting article on Averyand the Maag/Karmeier election and rhetorically asks "Was Justice Karmeier's decision legitimate, well-reasoned, unbiased?" That is a good question. Who's going to find the answer?
The AP is reporting that three public interest groups are asking the state board that looks into allegations of judicial misconduct to investigate Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier.
Common Cause, Citizen Action Illinois and Business and Professional People for the Public Interest filed a Complaint with the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board that alleges that donations to Karmeier from State Farm and Philip Morris created an "appearance of impropriety."
Complainants' Request for Investigation of Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier is based upon Justice Karmeier's violation of Canons 1, 2 and 3 of the Illinois Code of Judicial Conduct and Illinois Supreme Court Rules 61, 62 and 63(C) (1) (a) by refusing to recuse himself from, participating in, and casting the decisive vote: (1) in favor of State Farm in the Avery case, and (2) in favor of Philip Morris Incorporated in the Price case.
During a 2004 election race that broke state and national spending records for judicial seats, Karmeier accepted money from groups affiliated with the companies, according to the Complaint filed with the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board.
Karmeier then voted in favor of the companies after taking his seat on the court.
The Madison County Record is reporting that Gordon Maag filed a $110 million defamation lawsuit against the Coalition for Jobs, Growth and Prosperity, its chairman Ronald Gidwitz and treasurer Gregory W. Baise, as well as the Illinois Chamber of Commerce alleging defamation.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch published an editorial today that begins: "BIG BUSINESS won a nice return on a $4.3 million investment in Tuesday's election. It now has a friendly justice on the Illinois Supreme Court." and wonders "might the new justice be tempted to do favors for the interests that lavished millions on his campaign? Given Judge Karmeier's record in the lower courts, we believe he will proceed with integrity. But you couldn't blame a citizen for wondering if it's payback time."