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Jan 20

Judicial Elections and the First Amendment: Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar

On January 20, the U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments in Lanell Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar. At issue is whether a ban on solicitation of campaign donations by judicial candidates in state elections in Florida violates the First Amendment rights of the candidates. Does Florida have a compelling interest in imposing such a ban to preserve the appearance of impartiality of its judges? Is it necessary to ensure judicial independence and maintain public confidence in the judicial system? Does this ban on solicitation violate the First Amendment rights of candidates to engage in political speech and political activity? Does the soliciting of campaign donations involve core political speech? In a post-argument briefing, two First Amendment experts who filed amicus briefs in the case, along with the former Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, will discuss these issues as well as the oral arguments conducted that morning before the Supreme Court. Moderating the panel will be a former FEC commissioner.

More About the Speakers

James Bopp, Jr.
General Counsel, The James Madison Center for Free Speech

Robert Corn-Revere
Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine

Justice Randall T. Shepard
Former Chief Justice, Indiana Supreme Court

Hosted By

Hans A. von Spakovsky Hans A. von Spakovsky

Manager, Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow Read More