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Californians should consider amending the state Constitution to pressure judicial candidates to stay mum about hot-button political issues that might surface in their courts, former Gov. Pete Wilson told a Sacramento gathering of judicial leaders on Monday.

The amendment, as Wilson explained it to the Commission on Impartial Courts, would acknowledge candidates’ First Amendment rights but also express the public’s desire that they refrain from publicly staking out positions on controversial topics. It would also require election questionnaires that interest groups send to would-be judges to include a statement, contained in red boxes on both the form and envelope, repeating the new constitutional admonition.

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