A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center
FactCheck.org is celebrating 15 years of holding politicians accountable.

Sham Sharia Stories

Q: Is Sharia law now in effect in Utah and other U.S. states?

A: No. Two stories circulating online falsely claim that various American courts have instituted Sharia.

No Nationwide Sharia Ban

Q: Has a judge banned Sharia law across the United States?

A: No. The judge pictured with a bogus headline proclaiming a nationwide ban was the host of a daytime court TV show.

Public Financing Comes to Wisconsin Supreme Court

Prompted by escalating campaign spending and the increasing use of attack ads, Wisconsin state legislators and Gov. Jim Doyle have enacted a bill to provide public financing for the Supreme Court’s candidates.
Would-be justices would qualify for the funds by agreeing to limit spending and by raising small sums totaling between $5,000 and $15,000 from 1,000 different contributors. They could then receive up to $100,000 for a primary race and up to $300,000 for a general election – which,

Aftermath of a Court Race

Wisconsin ’08 was one of the nastiest state Supreme Court elections in modern history. Incumbent Justice Louis Butler went down to defeat after opponent Mike Gableman and business interests in the state ran slashing, misleading ads portraying him as soft on crime. We criticized the spots in several stories.
Today, Gableman, though sitting on Wisconsin’s highest court, is still fighting a legal battle over whether he lied in one of the ads that helped put him there.

When $3 Million is Too Much

The Supreme Court’s June 8 decision in Caperton v. Massey established that there is such a thing as too much money, at least when it comes to campaign support for a judge who is hearing a case involving the supporter. And $3 million is definitely over the line, according to the majority opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy in the landmark 5-4 decision.
Excessive campaign contributions to or in support of a judicial candidate can subvert the due process clause of the Constitution,

Sotomayer First ‘Hispanic?’

Q: Would Sonia Sotomayor really be the first Hispanic on the Supreme Court?
A: Depending on your point of view, the late Benjamin Cardozo might be considered “Hispanic.”

Sotomayor and Handguns

Q: Has Sotomayor written that states have the power to ban handguns?
A: A three-judge panel that included Sotomayor issued an unsigned decision saying that the Second Amendment does not apply to states, therefore states can regulate and ban weapons.

Sotomayor Overturned?

Q: What percentage of Sonia Sotomayor’s opinions have been overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court?
A: Of the majority opinions that Judge Sonia Sotomayor has authored since becoming an appellate judge in 1998, three of them have been overturned by the Supreme Court.

Sonia Sotomayor, Context Provided

Since President Obama’s announcement that he would nominate federal appellate Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, much attention has been given to her 2005 remark that the "court of appeals is where policy is made." The conservative Judicial Confirmation Network  and others on the right are spotlighting the clip of Sotomayor speaking at Duke Law School.
But what is Sotomayor really saying? It’s true that she immediately interrupted herself, saying jokingly to the panelist next to her,

Judge’s Attack Ad Draws Complaint

Last spring’s Supreme Court race in Wisconsin featured some ugly ads, so ugly that we wrote about the false or misleading claims in them several times. Now, one of the worst of those spots (in our humble opinion) is the subject of a complaint by the Wisconsin Judicial Commission. The proceedings could alter the tenor of ads used in Wisconsin court races.
The ad was sponsored by the campaign of a lower court judge, Mike Gableman,