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Court: Arizona judicial candidates can’t seek campaign cash

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A federal appeals court has reversed course and now says Arizona can prohibit some candidates for elected judgeships from soliciting campaign contributions or participating in somebody else’s campaign.

The full 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling Wednesday on a constitutional challenge to parts of Arizona’s Code of Judicial Conduct.

The ruling reverses a 2014 decision by a 9th Circuit panel that said the rules infringe on candidates’ free-speech rights and were too broad to serve the state’s interest in having an impartial judiciary.

The full 9th Circuit cited a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding similar restrictions on Florida judicial candidates.

Bullhead City lawyer Randolph Wolfson challenged the rules after twice running unsuccessfully for a Mohave County judgeship.

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