INSTITUTE INDEX: How big money is reshaping the South's supreme courts

The North Carolina Supreme Court seat held by Republican Barbara Jackson (top row, second from left) is up for election this year, and Jackson faces two challengers — Democrat Anita Earls and Republican Chris Anglin, who recently switched his affiliation from Democrat. The race is already shaping up to be one of the most expensive in history, and all that money has implications for justice. (Official photo from the N.C. Supreme Court's website.)

Number of U.S. states that elect their supreme courts: 38

Number of states holding supreme court elections this year: 33

Number of this year's state supreme court elections that will take place in the South: 10*

Of the Southern supreme court elections being held this year, number that are partisan contests: 4**

Year in which the North Carolina legislature made judicial elections partisan for the state's appellate courts, including its high court: 2017

Number of seats up for election this year on the North Carolina Supreme Court: 1

The North Carolina court's current partisan split, with Democrats in the majority and incumbent Republican Justice Barbara Jackson facing re-election against challengers Anita Earls, a Democrat, and Chris Anglin, who recently switched his affiliation from Democrat to Republican and is fighting the legislature to have his new party listed: 4-3

Number of new seats the North Carolina legislature could create on the state Supreme Court if Jackson wins re-election and voters approve a proposed constitutional amendment allowing the legislature to fill "vacancies" on the court, thus creating a conservative majority: 2

Year a professor at the University of Texas at Arlington published a study that found partisan judicial races attract more money than nonpartisan races: 2017

In 1999, number of U.S. states with at least one sitting supreme court justice elected in a million-dollar race: 7

In 2017: 20

Amount that Judicial Crisis Network, a secretive nonprofit with ties to the Koch brothers, spent on the recent Arkansas Supreme Court election before its ads were blocked by the judge in a libel lawsuit against the group: more than $1.2 million

Year in which a study focusing on the Supreme Court of Georgia found a correlation between campaign contributions and judges' decisions: 2006

Year in which another study found that law firms which contributed more to North Carolina Supreme Court candidates had greater success rates before the court than firms that made smaller donations: 2014

Year in which a study found that supreme court justices of color are re-elected at significantly lower rates than white justices in money-soaked races: 2015

Year in which North Carolina's Republican-controlled legislature ended the state's groundbreaking judicial public financing program that's been credited with boosting racial diversity on the bench, doing so at the urging of leading conservative donor James "Art" Pope, who at the time was serving as state budget director: 2013

In the North Carolina Supreme Court race, which is shaping up to be a top money draw among this year's high court races in the South, amount raised through June 30 by Jackson, the incumbent Republican, according to reports filed last week: $144,019

Amount Art Pope and his wife, Katherine Pope, have contributed to Jackson's campaign: $10,400

Amount raised through June 30 by Democratic challenger Earls: $374,782

By Republican hopeful Anglin, who joined the race on the last day of filing and won't have to disclose his donors until late October: $0

* Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia.

** Alabama, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Texas.

(Click on figure to go to source.)