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What’s at Stake in Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar

In September of 2009, Lanell Williams-Yulee violated the Florida Code of Judicial Conduct when she signed a fundraising letter soliciting contributions for her campaign to be a judge in Hillsborough County, Florida. On January 20, 2015, the United States Supreme Court will hear her challenge to the rule she broke. The Court should reject Williams-Yulee’s claim. If the Court holds that the rule violates the First Amendment, as Williams-Yulee contends, it could weaken codes of judicial conduct that are critical to the integrity of our judicial system and the right of all Americans to secure justice in impartial courts. Yet this case will be decided by the only state or federal judges in America who are not subject to a code of conduct—the nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.