STATEMENT: Legal Progress Vice President Michele Jawando on Supreme Court Ruling in Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar
Washington, D.C. — Today’s Supreme Court ruling on Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar affirms that, as Chief Justice John Roberts said in his opinion, “Judges are not politicians, even when they come to the bench by way of the ballot.”
Michele L. Jawando, Vice President for Legal Progress at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement regarding today’s decision:
The Supreme Court’s decision today to uphold Florida’s ban on judges directly soliciting potential donors for their campaigns represents a first step toward protecting our judiciary and democracy and bucking the influence of unfettered big money in judicial elections. Preserving judicial independence is central to the integrity of our judiciary and the foundations of our democracy.
Although this ruling represents an important step, the Supreme Court has now ruled on both sides of the “appearance of corruption” issue, offering contradictory viewpoints of the infamous Citizens United and today’s ruling. Yet we know that if money can influence and create an appearance of corruption in one election, it can do it in all elections. Because of Citizens United, we still face key challenges to get money’s influence out of our democracy. We need to take real action on campaign finance reform to ensure that voters have their voices heard.
For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.495.3682.