U.S. PIRG Commends Williams-Yulee Decision

Media Contacts
Emma Boorboor

Justice Roberts’ standard for judicial elections should apply to all elections


Today, the Supreme Court ruled in Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar, which upheld Florida’s ban on judicial candidates directly soliciting campaign funds. U.S. PIRG’s Democracy Advocate Emma Boorboor released the following statement:

“The Supreme Court certainly got it right today by ruling to protect the integrity of our judicial process.  However, we see no reason to limit our concern about the undue influence of donors to judicial elections as Chief Justice Roberts does in his opinion:

“A State’s interest in preserving public confidence in the integrity of its judiciary extends beyond its interest in preventing the appearance of corruption in legislative and executive elections, because a judge’s role differs from that of a politician… Unlike a politician, who is expected to be appropriately responsive to the preferences of supporters, a judge in deciding cases may not follow the preferences of his supporters or provide any special consideration to his campaign donors.”

In the post-Citizens United era, when elections are dominated by a few big money donors, the same standard that Justice Roberts applies to judicial elections should be applied to all of our elections.  Failure to do so undermines the ‘one person, one vote’ premise of our democracy.”