In an article published this week, Facing South summarized the importance of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar.
The ruling upheld a state’s right to impose limitations restricting a judicial candidate’s ability to personally solicit campaign contributions. Chief Justice John Roberts’ opinion stressed the importance of public confidence in the judiciary, which statistics show is waning. For instance, the article cites a Justice at Stake and Brennan Center for Justice poll that shows nearly 90 percent of voters “think fundraising and money in judicial elections are affecting judges’ decisions on the bench.”
The decision in Williams-Yulee protects all the states that place similar restrictions on judicial candidates. Moreover, the article emphasizes the ruling may encourage states that don’t have similar restrictions – nine of the 39 that elect at least some judges – to adopt the rule. The Brennan Center, a Justice at Stake partner organization, “plans to focus attention on these nine states in an effort to pass bans there.”
See Gavel Grab for more information.