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Supreme Court Uphold Limits on Judicial Fundraising

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled, 5-4, Wednesday that states can bar judicial candidates from personally asking for campaign contributions, The Associated Press' Mark Sherman and Sam Hananel report. Chief Justice John Roberts, along with the four liberal members of the court, opined that '"judges are not politicians, even when they come to the bench by way of the ballot. 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 dissenting justices would have struck down Florida's ban under the First Amendment.

Even though Roberts was in the majority on the Citizens United decision that liberated corporations and unions from campaign spending limits, the AP reports that "this case could be seen to bring out his role as the leader of the judicial branch, even if he and other appointed federal judges are not affected by the case. Roberts at several points drew a distinction between candidates for judgeships and other offices."