I was pleased to weigh in this week on the proposed Pennsylvania legislation that would shift partisan elections for its state supreme court from a statewide ballot to a regional one. (More on the proposal here and here.) As the Spotlight PA article suggests, my concern is not with creating geographic districts, but rather with the potentially explosive mix of districts and partisan races. That combination seems to me to especially invite special interest and dark money, similar to the notorious 2004 supreme court election in Illinois.
Interestingly enough, South Carolina is also considering a move to expand and diversity the geographic perspective of its supreme court, which is chosen entirely by the legislature. We’ll continue to follow both proposals here.