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Judicial Candidates Can’t Pledge in Questionnaires

(CN) - Kansas judicial candidates can answer questions on disputed legal or political issues in questionnaires, but they cannot give responses that bind them as judges to legal opinions, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled.

The Kansas Judicial Review and Judges Robb Rumsey and Charles Hart said their First Amendment rights were violated by the Kansas Commission on Judicial Qualifications.

They claimed the commission improperly barred them from answering opinion questionnaires during their campaigns.

Before the 10th Circuit could rule on the case, it certified questions about state law to the Kansas Supreme Court.

"We hold that (Kansas law) prohibits a candidate for judicial office from making pledges or promises regarding certain results in a particular case that is bound to come before the candidate as judge," the state high court ruled.

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