In capitalism's purest form, everything has a price.
The Florida judiciary is no stranger to misconduct and corruption. During one tawdry stretch in the early 1970s, three of the state’s supreme court justices resigned over corruption scandals. One was caught on a gambling junket in Las Vegas that had been paid for by a greyhound track owner with a case pending before the court. Two others stepped down after trying to tamper with cases involving campaign supporters.
In response to these and other embarrassments, Florida passed significant reforms, including a law banning judicial candidates from personally asking potential campaign donors for money. Like similar laws in 29 of the other 38 states where at least some judges are elected, it was a straightforward way to reduce a serious threat to judicial independence.
And yet this law may soon become the latest victim of the post-Citizens United era, where money is speech and more of it is only better.
On Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case challenging Florida’s personal-solicitation ban as a violation of the First Amendment. The lawsuit was brought by Lanell Williams-Yulee, a lawyer who was disciplined for writing, signing and sending a fund-raising letter to voters in 2009, when she was running to be a county court judge.Read the rest here.