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What is the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Act of 2002?
What is soft money and why is it being regulated?
What are electioneering communications?
What are the First Amendment concerns raised by the new campaign-finance law?
How do campaign-finance law supporters respond to the First Amendment issues raised?
How have the courts assessed the BCRA?
How did the Supreme Court handle the case?
How did the Supreme Court rule on the BCRA?
Why is judicial campaign speech treated differently from other types of campaign speech?

Judges have a special role in society: to interpret and uphold the law impartially. They are supposed to decide cases on the bases of the law and the facts of the case, not popular opinion. The impartiality of a judge or judicial candidate, it is feared, would be in question if they started making campaign promises and stating their support for or opposition to certain views. If judges or judicial candidates were to make advance commitments, the argument goes, they would be under pressure to honor those commitments if elected. This pressure could prevent a litigant from receiving a fair trial and hamper the judge’s ability to make an impartial decision. Additionally, any statement that could be taken as an advance commitment could undermine the credibility of his or her decision and, ultimately, the judicial system. To avoid this dilemma, states have put into place restrictions on what judges and judicial candidates can say during their campaigns.

I work with a political committee. Am I required to put a disclaimer on e-mails or on our Web site?
May I send an e-mail to a friend about a political topic or federal election without worrying about a disclaimer?
May I create my own personal political blog? May I post to another’s political blog?
What if I pay to place a political ad on someone else’s Web page? Would I be subject to any rules and regulations?
The company I work for provides commercial services online. May we provide our services to political committees and candidates?
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Last system update: Sunday, January 25, 2009 | 03:20:54
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