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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Florida Ban on Campaign Contributions


The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld Florida’s ban on elected judges from asking for campaign contributions. The high court vote was 5 – 4, with Chief Justice Roberts in the majority.

The case, Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar, at issue was whether Lanell Williams-Yulee had to pay penalties for violating the state’s solicitation ban when she signed a fund-raising letter.

The high court ruled that indeed Florida and 29 other states have the right to ban judges from asking for campaign contributions. Barry Richard represented the Florida Bar before the Supreme Court.

“If this court in this case had struck down this cannon it would have been open season for judges to solicit political contributions,” said Richard.

In his dissent Justice Antonin Scalia said the ruling quote, “flattens one settled First Amendment principle after another.”