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Ohio: Limits on Spending in State Judicial Races.

In an effort to protect the public's faith in the integrity of the state judiciary, the Ohio Supreme Court in 1995 revised its judicial code of ethics to set reasonable limits on spending in state judicial elections. A group of candidates for judicial election promptly challenged the limits. NVRI and the Iowa Attorney General's office filed an amicus brief in support of the limits, on behalf of secretaries of state and chief election officials from twenty-two states.

NVRI argued that this case presents several compelling justifications for spending limits that were not foreclosed by the Buckley decision. The dominance of money in judicial races has created the perception of "justice for sale" and threatens to undermine public confidence in the elected judiciary. Over two decades since Buckley, contribution limits alone have not addressed this problem.

In 1998 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed the district court's decision that Buckley barred the judicial spending limits, Suster v. Marshall, 149 F.3d 523 (6th Cir. 1998). However, after the district court ruling, the Ohio Supreme Court had revised the limits. The Sixth Circuit did not address the constitutionality of the new limits, leaving that for consideration by the district court on remand. Unfortunately, after the district court in late 2000 ruled against the revised limits, the Ohio Supreme Court voted not to proceed with a further appeal.

Read More About NVRI's Cases Defending Campaign Spending Limits & Challenging Buckley v. Valeo: