Judicial Freedom of Speech

Attorney James Bopp Jr is on a crusade. A crusade to free Judges to actually say what they believe, so that voters have some idea of whom they are electing. All judges are elected either directly (through the polls) or indirectly through appointment by an elected official. Here are the high points from a recent ABA Journal Article (November 2006):

"I think there is a limit on what judicial candidates can say, that does not apply to the other braches of government," [Bopp] says… Judicial candidates can be prohibited from saying ‘I’ll throw all drunk drivers in jail’ or ‘I’ll overturn Roe v. Wade if given the chance’, but they should be able to say ‘I’m pro-life’," [Bopp] says.

Bopp says that while his clients want to know a candidates personal values on issues such as abortion, they expect judges to follow the facts and law whereever they lead. He also knows htat judges make common law. And their personal values cannot help but influence them in those endeavors.

"Anybody who tells you it doesn’t matter what judge you get is a fool," Bopp says. "Judges have discretion. Their personal opinions matter and their views matter."