Thursday, February 19, 2009

Part TWO of the Siefert Decision

Esenberg brings up something that is very significant.

More significant, it seems to me, is that part of the decision striking down the Code of Judicial Conduct's prohibition against the personal solicitation of funds by judges and judicial candidates. This represents a sea change in the nature of judicial campaigns and may further dissuade lawyers from running for judge.

...It is not clear to me that prohibiting personal solicitation represents the same type of restriction on communication as a prohibition on identifying one's partisan affiliation (or, as in White, one's position on certain issues of public interest). Nor am I sure that it is unreasonable for a state to conclude that personal solicitation of funds by a judge or judicial officer represents a substantial risk of actual or apparent corruption that is not presented by solicitation through a judicial committee.

Ummnhhh, yah!

Look--I think well of most judges. But allowing them to 'dial for dollars' for their election campaign is risky. Yes, I KNOW that they read their campaign-finance reports, and they probably remember stuff that's on them.

But that's very different from actually making the call yourself.

Very different.

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