Court Nixes Lawsuit Against Florida Judge Rules

ATLANTA (AP) - A federal appeals court has decided against a
Florida group seeking to nullify a rule that prevented many
judicial candidates from answering survey questions on issues such
as abortion, school vouchers and gay marriage.

The Florida Family Planning Council claimed its First Amendment
rights to obtain information were thwarted by Florida Code of
Judicial Conduct rules saying judges should disqualify themselves
on issues where their public statements appeared to commit them to
certain positions.

Family Planning said judicial candidates could hide behind the
rules to avoid scrutiny of their judicial philosophy. A federal
judge in Florida found no constitutional basis for the complaint.

An appeals panel said Friday the suit should have been dismissed
for a different reason: lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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