Ninth Circuit Strikes Down Arizona Laws Restricting Some Political Activity by Candidates for State Judge

On May 9, the Ninth Circuit struck down Arizona laws that prohibit candidates for state judge to engage in certain forms of political activity. The decision in Wolfson v Concannon, 11-17634, says that the state cannot prevent candidates for judge from soliciting campaign contributions, making speeches on behalf of a political party or on behalf of another candidate, or endorsing another candidate.

The decision
leaves intact laws that prohibit sitting judges from doing those things. The decision was 2-1. The dissenting judge would have struck down only the ban on raising money, but left the other prohibitions intact.

Only the smaller counties in Arizona elect trial court judges. They are elected on a partisan basis.

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