U.S. top court rejects judicial candidate's free speech challenge

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 29, 2015 10:18 AM

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that a Florida law that bars candidates running for elected judge positions from soliciting campaign contributions does not violate free speech rights.

On a 5-4 vote, the court ruled against Lanell Williams-Yulee, who ran in 2009 for county court judge in Tampa. She objected when Florida's Supreme Court publicly reprimanded her for violating a rule preventing candidates from seeking donations. She argued that the rule violated her free speech rights under the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment.

Writing on behalf of the court, Chief Justice John Roberts said that a state "may assure its people that judges will apply the law without fear or favor - and without having personally asked anyone for money."

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)