Friday, May 1, 2015

Roberts Court upholds judicial fundraising restrictions

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts arrives prior to President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 28, 2014. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES  - Tags: POLITICS)   - RTX17Z1K

In a move which stunned many Court observers—certainly including me—the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision today that state rules barring judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions do not violate the First Amendment.
Thirty of the thirty-nine states which elect judges have rules similar to Florida's Canon 7C(1), the subject of Lanell Williams-Yulee's challenge before the court:
A candidate, including an incumbent judge, for a judicial office that is filled by public election between competing candidates shall not personally solicit campaign funds, or solicit attorneys for publicly stated support, but may establish committees of responsible persons to secure and manage the expenditure of funds for the candidate’s campaign and to obtain public statements of support for his or her candidacy. Such committees are not prohibited from soliciting campaign contributions and public support from any person or corporation authorized by law.
While they're intended to promote public confidence in the judiciary, I think these rules are dumb, and had assumed this one was constitutionally doomed given that the Roberts Court seems to detest any restrictions on campaign finance. But dumb rules can be constitutional, and to his credit the chief justice (writing for himself and the court's four liberals) decided that judicial elections were sufficiently different and that the constitutional calculus must change:
Judges are not politicians, even when they come to the bench by way of the ballot. And a State’s decision to elect its judiciary does not compel it to treat judicial candidates like campaigners for political office. A State may assure its people that judges will apply the law without fear or favor—and without having personally asked anyone for money.
what's the difference if the candidate does it or someone on their side does i'm sure those who would solicit get the platform keys from the candidate and advice as to who might go along with what or what they are willing to give up for the money.  

as far as them not being politicians you can't argue that recent decisions from all courts are definitely tied to political gratuity for mostly republican and right wing interest the scotus themselves make decisions that clearly benefit the republican party that is why there is a spit of ideology there 4 liberals and 5 right wingers.  

we constantly hear about electing a Pres. has the potential to appt a justice that votes in there interest like striking down sect 4 of voter rights act allowing republicans to gerrymander, impose stringent restrictions that appear only to create hardship for Progressive voters, let's get real judges while they might not actively pursue political interest they are highly political entities.