It has been recently revealed that State Farm Insurance Company secretly gave at least $2.4 million to an Illinois Supreme Court judicial candidate in exchange for him reversing a $1 billion judgment against State Farm. When Judge Lloyd Karmeier was running for office in 2004, he won the race and the most expensive Supreme Court election in the United States to that point. The next year in 2005 he voted to overturn a $1 billion verdict against State Farm. In that case, Judge Karmeier refused to recuse himself and the Supreme Court (on which he sat) analyzed potential bias and found none. However, they thought at that time that State Farm had only donated $350,000.00 to Karmeier’s campaign because that’s what State Farm told the Supreme Court in a sworn affidavit. But the FBI has now found that State Farm actually donated between $2.4 and 4 million to Karmeier’s campaign.
This underscores the importance of the Missouri Plan which has recently come under attack by large insurance companies and big businesses in the State of Missouri. These large entities with a lot of money want to be able to buy verdicts and buy reversals of trial court judgments like they did in Illinois. The Missouri Plan is reputed and copied throughout the United States as a way to put impartial judges (from whatever political persuasion) on the bench and has worked great. This plan enables judges to be appointed and not elected and the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County, Kansas City and Springfield. Other judges in rural Missouri are elected. So, if you ever hear anybody criticizing the Missouri Plan, please support. Keep politics out of the judiciary.