Jared Kamrass of Cincinnati, OH


Almost everyone not involved in politics has the same reaction when they find out most states elect their judges: “why?”

Jared Kamrass of Cincinnati OH notes that this is a perfectly reasonable question, and one that doesn’t really have a good answer yet remains the case.

In the aftermath of the Dobbs decision from the Supreme Court, including comments from Justice Alito about similar cases such as Marriage Equality, access to birth control, along with future Court decisions around redistricting, Jared Kamrass notes that it’s clear Conservative activists are aggressively pursuing a strategy of allowing states to make decisions about rights and civil liberties.

At the same time, these same activists have pumped hundreds of millions into judicial races across the country. And when things don’t go their way, they change the rules. In 2020, Ohio elected two Democrats to the Supreme Court while Donald Trump was carrying the state handily. In 2021, the Republicans in the legislature changed the ballot to show party label next to Supreme Court candidates, in the hopes that voters would revert to their partisan tribalism and Republicans would carry all future races.

In 2022, state after state will be electing Supreme Court judges who will hear cases about legislative gerrymandering, overturning election results, and whether or not women can safely get an abortion.

Democrats are typically good at mobilizing their voters for big races at the federal level, but struggle to do so for down ballot races. Starting in 2022, and for years to come, Jared Kamrass mentions that leaders in the party will have to do a better job funding these races and motivating voters to care about them. The rights that had been deemed secure and permanent are all now in question. And they won’t be decided by well-vetted federal judges confirmed by the Senate, but by partisan elected officials.

By Jared Kamrass

Jared Kamrass

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