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Illinois: US Supreme Court refuses to hear judge non-recusal case

ACSblog reports and comments: On Monday, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case of Avery v. State Farm Automobile Ins. Co., which raised the timely question of whether the due process clause can create a duty for a judge to recuse himself in cases where a significant campaign contributor is a party. In 2004, current Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier was in the midst of what has subsequently been deemed the most expensive state judicial election in American history. More than $9 million was raised between the two candidates with Justice Karmeier alone raising nearly $5 million. Briefs allege that over $1 million raised by the Karmeier campaign came from State Farm Insurance, who happened to have an appeal pending before the Illinois Supreme Court seeking the reversal of a lower court verdict which ordered State Farm to pay $1 billion in damages for using "off-brand replacement parts in car repairs." Despite the campaign contributions from State Farm, Justice Karmeier refused to recuse himself from the case and ended up casting the deciding vote in reversing the lower court. -- ACSBlog: The Blog of the American Constitution Society: The Cost of Justice?

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