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ABA applauds U.S. Supreme Court decision in Florida judicial speech case

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ABA applauds U.S. Supreme Court decision in Florida judicial speech case

By John Glynn

WASHINGTON, April 29, 2015 — American Bar Association President William C. Hubbard praised today's U.S. Supreme Court decision in Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar for balancing free speech issues with Florida’s right to ensure the integrity of its judicial branch.

Hubbard said in a statement:

“Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar underscores the importance of an independent judiciary to the rule of law. As Chief Justice Roberts cited in the majority opinion, 30 of the 39 states that elect trial or appellate judges have adopted restrictions based on the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct's ban on judicial candidates personally soliciting campaign funds. As the court concluded, Florida's provision is narrowly tailored to promote the state’s compelling interest in a fair and impartial judiciary free from corruption and the appearance of corruption. It properly prohibits personal campaign solicitations while preserving candidates' First Amendment right to communicate their views and qualifications for office. The Supreme Court's decision reaffirms the states’ vital interest in safeguarding the fairness and integrity of our nation’s elected judges.”

In late December 2014, the ABA filed an amicus brief in the case, available here. The brief also has an Appendix with a state-by-state breakdown on the judicial selection process and relevant judicial rules.

Please click here for a biography and photo of William C. Hubbard, president of the American Bar Association.

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