The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to take up a West Virginia case that could trigger the Court’s first major review of the impact of increasingly costly judicial elections on the appearance and reality of justice at the state level.

After several weeks of unexplained delay in acting on the case, the Court announced it was granting review in Caperton v. Massey, which asks when a campaign donation by a party in a case is large enough that the judge receiving the donation must recuse to avoid violating due process rights. Legal Times previewed the case in August. The American Bar Association and other civic and business groups filed briefs at the petition stage — a rarity — to underline the urgency and importance of the issue in light of increasingly political, money-drenched state judicial elections.

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