Living with Republican Party of Minnesota V. White

The birth and death of judicial campaign speech restrictions

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

In Republican Party of Minnesota v. White, the Supreme Court of the United States declared unconstitutional a Minnesota judicial canon prohibiting judicial candidates from announcing their views on issues likely to come before them. This triggered legal action in other states and a debate not only over speech rights, but over the state of the judiciary as well. With the growing presence of interest groups in judicial elections and increasing campaign spending, it is no surprise that polls show that more than 70% of voters believe money influences judicial decisions. This article examines the history of judicial selection and canons on speech through a lens of First Amendment theory, focusing on practical responses to the precedent set in White. It is critical that states take action to restore public confidence in the independence and impartiality of the courts. Merit selection, campaign finance reform, strict recusal standards and a better informed public are viable alternatives to speech-restricting canons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-129
Number of pages33
JournalCommunication Law and Policy
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008

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Republican Party
campaign
death
judiciary
Finance
interest group
amendment
Supreme Court
Lenses
finance
money
candidacy
confidence
election
reform
history

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Law

Cite this

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Living with Republican Party of Minnesota V. White : The birth and death of judicial campaign speech restrictions. / Myrick, Jessica.

In: Communication Law and Policy, Vol. 13, No. 1, 01.01.2008, p. 97-129.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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