Court supports judge candidates’ right to political stances

The 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ordered the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission to stop investigating two judicial candidates for stating their Republican connections and their support from anti-abortion groups during their campaigns. The court said the investigation would chill the candidates’ First Amendment rights. (ABA Journal, October 31, 2022, by Debra Cassens Weiss)

Two citizens had complained that the candidates had taken positions on issues likely to come before the court. The court said the candidates had a First Amendment right to identify themselves as belonging to a political party and said endorsements from pro-life groups did not require an obligation to reject them. A dissenting judge said the plaintiffs lacked standing and that there was no credible threat of enforcement. (The Free Speech Center, November 8, 2022, by David L. Hudson Jr.)