* LA Times…
The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld state laws that bar elected judges from asking for money to support their campaigns.
In a 5-4 decision, the court rejected a free-speech claim brought by a Florida judge.
“Judges are not politicians, even when they come to the bench by way of the ballot,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority. “A state may assure its people that judges will apply the law without fear or favor — and without having personally asked anyone for money.”
The decision marks one of the few times the high court has rejected a free-speech claim involving politics and campaigning. Roberts split from the court’s four conservative justices to uphold the Florida law. […]
“Hostility to campaigning by judges entitles the people of Florida to amend their Constitution to replace judicial elections with the selection of judges by lawyers’ committees,” Scalia said. “It does not entitle the Florida Supreme Court to adopt, or this court to endorse, a rule of judicial conduct that abridges candidates’ speech in the judicial election that the Florida Constitution prescribes.”
* That’s already the case here. From the Illinois Supreme Court Rules…
A [judicial] candidate shall not personally solicit or accept campaign contributions.
A candidate may establish committees of responsible persons to conduct campaigns for the candidate through media advertisements, brochures, mailings, candidate forums and other means not prohibited by law. Such committees may solicit and accept reasonable campaign contributions, manage the expenditure of funds for the candidate’s campaign and obtain public statements of support for his or her candidacy.
Such committees are not prohibited from soliciting and accepting reasonable campaign contributions and public support from lawyers.
Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to ban attorneys from contributing directly to judicial campaigns. However, he can’t stop them from forming a 501(c)(4) dark money group or even likely ban them from forming an independent expenditures committee. Attorneys could also contribute to the state parties.
* The Question: Should Illinois ban attorneys from contributing directly to judicial campaign committees? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.