Federal appeals court strikes down ban on judicial party affiliations in Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A federal appeals court has struck down a
ban on political party affiliations for judicial candidates in
Kentucky, but ordered a lower court to further consider whether
candidates can commit to positions on issues.
The ruling, issued Tuesday by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of
Appeals in Cincinnati, clears the way for would-be judges in
Kentucky to identify themselves as whatever party they choose and
solicit campaign contributions.
Appellate Judge Jeffrey Sutton said banning the practice
violated the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech.
In 2008, U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell threw out the
Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission's rule against judicial
candidates identifying themselves by party and raising money as
unconstitutional. Caldwell upheld a ban on judicial candidates
taking stands on specific issues.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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