For years now, judicial reform groups have more or less resigned themselves to the reality that the public likes to elect its state judges and will fight any effort to appoint them instead.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Jan. 21 decision in Citizens United v. FEC may have altered that sober truth — or at least has given reformers a glimmer of hope that it might. By supersizing possible corporate domination of judicial elections, the thinking goes, the Supreme Court’s decision may finally make the public see how unseemly the elections are — and move toward merit-based selection as an alternative.

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