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First Amendment Action Regarding Judicial Political Speech, and Criminal Matter

By FindLaw Staff on June 15, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In US v. Lewis, No. 09-3804, the court affirmed defendant's firearm possession conviction, holding that defendant voluntarily consented to the police's entry into defendant's girlfriend's apartment, and thus the district court properly denied defendant's motion to suppress the firearm at issue.

Siefert v. Alexander, No. 09-1713, concerned an action for declaratory and injunctive relief against the members of the Wisconsin Judicial Commission, challenging under the First Amendment certain judicial ethical rules.  The court of appeals affirmed summary judgment for plaintiff in part, holding that the partisan affiliation ban at issue impermissibly acted to prohibit plaintiff's speech on both his political views and his qualifications for office.  However, the court reversed in part, on the ground that, unlike restrictions designed, for example, to regulate federal employees' political activity, restrictions on judicial speech may, in some circumstances, be required by the Due Process Clause, and the solicitation ban was drawn closely enough to the state's interest in preserving impartiality and preventing corruption to be constitutional.

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