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Playlist: life of the law

Compiled By: ann lasker

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Life of the Law (Series)

Produced by Life of the Law

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Life of the Law #97: A Fair Fight for a Fair Court: Election Year Special - Part 1

From Life of the Law | Part of the Life of the Law series | 55:48


The 2016 elections are over, but what did we learn from the results? Over the past 11 months, Life of the Law’s team of reporters, editors and scholars have been taking a hard took at how money and an increase in spending by special interest groups played a role in the outcome of elections for judges on state supreme courts, and how those outcomes may impact our shared access to fairness in the law and the highest ideals of justice.

The five part seriers, "A Fair Fight for a Fair Court" is now being presented in two, hour-long special feature episodes on Life of the Law

In this, Part 1, the first hour, we present two stories and with post-election updates. We begin Part 1 with Reporter Ashley Cleek’s story Revolution in a Cornfield.

In Kansas this election year, five of the state’s seven supreme court justices were on the ballot. Voters ultimately decided to retain all five, but they grappled with issues more fundamental than whether these five justices were fair and efficient at their jobs. The Kansas Supreme Court was at the center of a historic fight between the three branches of Kansas state government. And that fight  centered around Kansas’s ever-tightening budget and how much it truly costs and how much the state would spend, to education children.  

We’ll also present Jonathan Hirsch’s  report Rig the System , on the challenges faced by voters in Ohio over whom to elect to their state supreme court and how decisions made in the voting booth will decide local issues such as who can drill for oil in Ohio, and where.


A Fair Fight for a Fair Court: Election Year Special - Part 1 was reported by Ashley Cleek and Jonathan Hirsch and edited by Annie Aviles and Nancy Mullane with sound design and production by Shani Aviram and Tony Gannon. Our post production editors are Kirsten Jusewicz-Haidle, Rachael Cain. We want to thank members of our Advisory Panel of Scholars and our Advisory Board, Brittny Bottorff, Ellen Horne and Osagie Obasogie for their support. Howard Gelman and Katie McMurran were our engineers.

Music in this episode is from Blue Dot Sessions .

Special thanks to Michael Leachman, Director of State Fiscal Research at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

This episode of Life of the Law was funded in part by grants from the Open Society Foundations , the Law and Society Association , the Proteus Fund, the Ford Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.

A Fair Fight for a Fair Court: Election Year Special - Part 1  was sponsored by HSBC .

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