[ Report Home | Previous Page | Next Page ]

Pay to Play

V. Paying To Play

D. Big Donors Had Highest Acceptance Rates
Mortgaged House
Not only do contributing petitioners enjoy an advantage in the Supreme Court but there is a strong correlation between this advantage and the amount of political money contributed. While the average overall petition-acceptance rate was 11 percent, this rate leapt to an astonishing 56 percent for petitioners who contributed more than $250,000 to the justices. In contrast, non-contributing petitioners enjoyed an acceptance rate of just 5.5 percent.  For every contribution level studied, there was a direct correlation between the amount of money contributed and the courtís petition-acceptance rate.
 
  • The average petitioner who gave the court $250,000 or more was 10 times more likely than the average non-contributor to have a petition accepted.
  • The average petitioner who gave the court $100,000 or more was 7.5 times more likely than the average non-contributor to have a petition accepted.
  • Across the board, the more a petitioner gave, the greater the likelihood that the court would accept a given petition. 
Texas justices are 10 times more likely to accept petitions filed by big donors than petitions filed by non-contributors.


 
 
Big Contributors Enjoy Highest Acceptance Rates
 
  Petitions 
Petitions
  Acceptance 
  Petitioner Contributions 
Filed
  Accepted 
Rate (%)
More than $250,000
54 
30 
56%
$100,000 - $250,000
137 
49 
36%
$10,000 - $100,000
402 
91 
23%
$1,000 - $10,000
589 
98 
17%
$1 - $1,000
400 
42 
11%
$0 
2,360 
132 
6%
All Petitions
3,942 
442 
11%

The remainder of this section of the report takes a look at how these same trends particularly apply to petitioning law firms and to petitioning parties. For this discussion, the analysis will shift from the 3,942 individual petitions studied in this report to each filing made by every petitioner. There are many more petitioner filings than petitions because a single petition can involve multiple attorneys, law firms and parties.
 
 


Copyright © 2001 Texans for Public Justice