Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Follow up: U.S. Supreme Court denies cert on second time up for the Minnesota judicial elections case, lets Eighth Circuit's August 2005 ruling throwing out judical and attorney ethics rules prohibiting party affiliations and personal solicitations standLaw.com The Supreme Court refused Monday to decide whether states can restrict candidates for judgeships from participating in political party activities and soliciting campaign contributions, upholding the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals enbanc decision in August to hold unconstitutional the following Minnesota Ethics rules regulating judicial elections: • Attending and speaking at political gatherings. •Seeking political party endorsements and publicize endorsements they receive. • Identifying themselves as current or past members of a political party. • Personally soliciting campaign contributions, rather than relying on surrogates to ask for money for them. This is a case of the odd-fellows as the American Bar Association teamed up with several large corporations to urge the Supreme Court to take the case up and reinstate the regulations on judicial elections
The American Bar Association and 39 of the country's largest corporations had urged the justices to take the case to ensure the credibility of judicial elections nationwide. The ABA said the lower court's ruling has thrown judicial elections in 31 states into confusion because they have similar rules to those that were invalidated. The corporations -- including Dow Chemical, General Electric, General Motors, PepsiCo and Wal-Mart -- said they don't want judicial elections to become as polarized as campaigns for other elective offices.

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