According to new data from the Center for Public Integrity, outside interest groups spent more than $11.7 million in ten states on supreme court elections—both contested and retention—in 2012 and 2013. Forty percent of this spending came from out-of-state organizations. The highest spending total in a single state—$3.3 million—was seen in Florida, and the bulk of this money came from groups who were defending the three supreme court justices standing for retention.
The Center’s data also show that 75 percent of the outside spending in 2012 and 2013 stemmed from the ongoing battle between trial attorneys and business groups. While trial lawyers prevailed in Florida, Louisiana, and Oklahoma, business interests won the day in North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, and Mississippi.