FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, April 29, 2015
CONTACT: Sara Rabern (605) 773-3215
US Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Personal Solicitation of Campaign Funds
by Judicial Candidates
PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that the United States Supreme Court upheld a state ban on personal solicitations of campaign funds by judicial candidates. Petitioner Lanell Williams -Yulee mailed and posted online a letter soliciting financial contributions to her campaign for judicial office. The Florida Bar disciplined her for violating a rule prohibiting such personal solicitations.
Recognizing that public perception of judicial integrity is a “state interest of highest order,” the Court rejected Yulee’s claim that her First Amendment rights were violated by the ban. The Court found that a personal appeal for money by a judicial candidate, rather than a campaign committee, inherently creates an appearance of impropriety that may cause the public to lose confidence in the integrity of the judiciary.
“Today’s decision affirms South Dakota’s law permitting judicial candidates to establish a campaign committee to solicit and accept campaign contributions, but prohibiting direct solicitation of campaign funds,” said Jackley.