May 07, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg repeatedly cited and relied on an amicus brief written by the firm in her concurring opinion in the Supreme Court’s recent decision in a case involving the constitutionality of campaign finance restrictions imposed on judges running for office.  In Williams-Yulee v.The Florida Bar, the Court held that Florida’s ban on the personal solicitation of campaign funds by candidates for judgeships does not violate the First Amendment.  A firm team submitted an amicus brief in support of The Florida Bar on behalf of professors of law, economics and political science who study the effects of judicial elections on judicial decision-making.   In her opinion, Justice Ginsburg cited the amicus brief’s argument that numerous studies have found that “the money pressure groups spend on judicial elections ‘can affect judicial decision-making across a broad range of cases.’”  The brief was written by Partner Jessica Ring Amunson and Associate Alex S. Trepp with assistance from Paralegal Cheryl Olson and Legal Assistant Sheree Anyiam.  Following the Court’s ruling, Ms. Amunson participated as an invited contributor to a symposium sponsored by SCOTUSBlog, authoring an article entitled “A Rare Case Indeed,” in which Ms. Amunson compared the Chief Justice’s opinion for the Court in Williams-Yulee with his prior opinion striking down certain campaign finance restrictions in McCutcheon v. FEC.