The Supreme Court has posted the audio files for the Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar case at this site.
The audio recording of the argument in Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar, regarding whether Florida’s rule of judicial conduct that prohibits candidates for judicial office from personally soliciting campaign funds violates the First Amendment, won’t be posted until the end of the week, but SCOTUSblog has two pieces that provide insight into the proceedings:
- Argument analysis: Running for a court seat, tin cup in hand?
- Justices debate limits on solicitations by judges: In Plain English
On Tuesday, January 20, 2015, the United State Supreme Court will consider, in the case of WILLIAMS-YULEE V. FLORIDA BAR, whether Florida’s rule of judicial conduct that prohibits candidates for judicial office from personally soliciting campaign funds violates the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
On May 1, 2014, the Florida Supreme Court approved a referee’s findings of fact and recommendation that a judicial candidate be found guilty of violating Rule Regulating the Florida Bar 4-8.2(b) (Judicial and Legal Officials, Candidates for Judicial Office; Code of Judicial Conduct Applies) for personally soliciting campaign contributions in violation of Canon 7C(1) of the Florida Code of Judicial Conduct and rejected the judicial candidate’s constitutional challenge to the ban imposed by Canon 7C(1) on a judicial candidate’s personal solicitation of campaign contributions. The Florida Supreme Court held that the Florida Judicial Canon is constitutional because it promotes the State’s compelling interests in preserving the integrity of the judiciary and maintaining the public’s confidence in an impartial judiciary, and that it is narrowly tailored to effectuate those interests. This case dates back to a 2009 fundraising letter that was signed by the judicial candidate.
Florida’s rules for judicial elections prohibit judges from personally soliciting campaign funds and instead permit judicial candidates to establish committees to make such solicitations.
Coverage and commentary on the case:
Today is the Primary Election in Florida – even if you are not registered with a party, there are probably judicial (and maybe other) races on the ballot for you. Don’t know where your precinct is? Use the State’s voter registration tool to look it up or check on your absentee ballot.
Depending on the county in which you live, early voting has either begun or is about to begin for the August 26, 2014 Primary Election. The Division of Elections has published a list of all early voting sites in Florida – be sure to check the days and times available, as each county supervisor of elections was given discretion by this language in Section 101.657, Florida Statutes:
Here is a link to the Senate analysis of the newly adopted Congressional districts for Florida, including maps of the before and after the changes.