The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in a case testing whether states, in the name of preserving judicial impartiality, may bar judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions.
There was a time when judicial elections were a pretty tame affair, with relatively little money spent, and candidates in most states limited in how they could campaign. Not anymore.
John Cruden served with U.S. Special Forces in Vietnam, taking his law school aptitude test in Saigon and eventually becoming a government lawyer.
Earlier this month, he started a new job running the environment and natural resources division at the Justice Department. For Cruden, 68, the new role means coming home to a place where he worked as a career lawyer for about 20 years.
Cruden has been around long enough to have supervised the Exxon Valdeez spill case, a record-setter. That is, until the Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.