Salter – Supreme Court decision on pardons could impact judicial elections

Hood comes out of the fray as popular as ever with his political base. The issue will serve him well and may even carry to the 2015 elections as an appeal to his supporters. Likewise, Hood’s detractors will find the spat with Barbour as another brick in the wall of mistrust they’ve built for Hood’s tenure as attorney general.

But it is in the state’s judicial elections where the decision may resonate long and loud. Judicial races in Mississippi have become targets for the national war over tort reform between business/medical interests and trial lawyers. “Soft on crime” is a label most often distorted in these affairs and this issue plays into that campaign scenario for either group that wants to throw the political rock.

Three Supreme Court justices face re-election bids in 2012 – Chief Justice Bill Waller, Justice Mike Randolph and Justice Leslie King. A fourth, Justice George Carlson, has announced his intention to retire and his seat on the bench will be an open seat in the 2012 elections.

Sig Salter