Judges Campaigns with Issue Positions!
Kentucky state law does not allow candidates in judicial races to give opinions on issues that are likely to come before the court. The purpose of judicial-ethics regulations is to protect state judges from pre-committing themselves on issues. In other words, Kentucky wants judges to be fair and impartial and has imposed ethics rules to protect the court. Yes, this does limit a judge's freedom of speech and association. That is the price candidates accept if they wish to become members of the judiciary.
We, as citizens, cannot afford to lose those protections. The right to free speech in judicial races must be secondary to the right of citizens to a fair trial. Judges are not lawmakers, they are charged with the weighty task of interpreting the law and applying it impartially. Their duty demands that they be concerned with the law not with their personal feelings. Otherwise, they are unfit to sit in judgment.
Mr. Ostrander, executive director of the foundation, cannot understand the need for a court divorced from the sorted political battles engaged in at other levels of government. Perhaps, he has not watched Senator Bunning's commercial attacking his opponent, or seen the fights breaking out all over Lexington over ownership of the water company. Let us pray that the federal courts stand behind Kentucky in the effort to keep the judiciary out of the mud pits of politics.