GOP Wins Law Challenge

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A federal judge Monday ruled that political parties can openly support judicial candidates and give money to their campaigns.

U.S. District Court Judge Henry T. Wingate ruled unconstitutional the 1999 state law that kept parties out of judicial elections.

The Mississippi Republican Party had filed a lawsuit in federal court
Oct. 10 challenging the law.

GOP chairman Jim Herring said the goal of the law missed the mark in taking politics out of judicial elections.

Herring said the law created a vacuum into which came special interest groups.

The ruling comes as federal authorities investigate whether some state court judges made rulings in exchange for having personal loans paid off by trial lawyers.

The Nov. 5 general election includes races for the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, circuit and chancery judgeships and county posts.