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INSTITUTE INDEX: Meet the conservative powerbroker suing True the Vote over fraud claims flop

December 4, 2020 - North Carolina pharmaceutical entrepreneur Fred Eshelman gave $2.5 million to the Houston-based group to pursue claims of fraud in the presidential election, which he says they failed to take adequate action to substantiate. It's not the first time Eshelman, a big political spender who gives most of his money to outside groups, has been involved in funding ethically questionable efforts.

Court packing in coal country

January 24, 2019 - Legislators in Kentucky and West Virginia are discussing constitutional amendments to give governors unprecedented control over choosing judges, who are currently elected. The moves are part of a broader trend of Republican politicians asserting more control over the judiciary.

Secret-money groups take aim at Southern supreme courts

October 11, 2018 - The same secret-money group that pushed the U.S Senate to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh is dominating spending in judicial elections in Arkansas and elsewhere in the South. In some states, justices are looking to be re-elected with the help of campaign cash from corporations and law firms that have business before the courts.

Making sense of the chaotic West Virginia Supreme Court impeachment

August 17, 2018 - The entire West Virginia Supreme Court — already in the crosshairs of corporate special interests — was recently impeached by the Republican-controlled state House for overspending, lavish renovations, and, in the case of one justice, criminal corruption charges. But Democrats see what's happening as a GOP power grab that comes amid a broader trend of conservative attacks on the judiciary.

Secret-money courts group accused of libel in Arkansas

May 18, 2018 - An Arkansas judge blocked an election ad by the conservative Judicial Crisis Network attacking a state Supreme Court judge, citing libel concerns. If the group, which spends millions to influence state and federal courts, appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court, its spending would present an ethical dilemma for Justice Neil Gorsuch.