Judges may not ask for campaign donations, high court rules

Judge Striking Gavel While Holding Scale With MoneyBy Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services/YourWestValley.com

The need for public confidence in judges outweighs their First Amendment right to personally solicit donations for their campaigns, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded Wednesday.

In a ruling that directly affects Arizona, the majority of the court rejected arguments by a Florida attorney that she has the right to raise money in her bid for election as a judge. She argued that prohibitions in that state — just as there are in Arizona — interfere with her bid for office.

But Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, said the attorney there is missing the point.

“Judges are not politicians, even when they come to the bench by way of the ballot,” he wrote.


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