Judicial candidates' appeals for campaign cash at high court

Local Court News Posted on

The Supreme Court is weighing whether candidates for elected judgeships have a constitutional right to make personal appeals for campaign cash.

The justices are hearing an appeal from Lanell Williams-Yulee of Tampa, Florida, who received a public reprimand for violating a Florida Bar rule that bans candidates for elected judgeships from personally soliciting donations.

The bar and many good government groups say the ban that is in place in Florida and 29 other states is important to preserve public confidence in an impartial judiciary.

A ruling for Williams-Yulee could free judicial candidates in those states to ask personally for campaign contributions.

In all, voters in 39 states elect local and state judges. In the federal judicial system, including the Supreme Court, judges are appointed to life terms and must be confirmed by the Senate.

The arguments are taking place five years after the Supreme Court freed corporations and labor unions to spend freely in federal elections. The court has generally been skeptical of limits on political campaigns, though slightly less so when it comes to those involving judges.

In 2002, the court struck down rules that were aimed at fostering impartiality among judges and barred candidates for elected judgeships from speaking out on controversial issues. But in 2009, the court held in a case from West Virginia that elected judges could be forced to step aside from ruling on cases when large campaign contributions from interested parties create the appearance of bias.

Legal News Media

Legal News is the top headline legal news provider for lawyers and legalprofessionals. Read law articles and breaking news from law firm's across the United States to get the latest updates. We reserve the right, at our discretion, to change, modify, add, or remove portions of the site at any time. Your This site is solely for your personal use. You are, of course, welcome to print or otherwise copy material from this site for your personal use. However, you may not distribute, exchange, modify, sell or transmit anything you copy from this Site, including but not limited to any text, images, audio and video, for any business, commercial or public purpose. Any unauthorized use of the text, images, audio and video may violate copyright laws, trademark laws, the laws of privacy and publicity and civil and criminal statutes.

 

American Bar Association – Start and Run a Law Firm

NewYorkStateBar.com – Starting a Law Firm

CPA Website Designs