The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Jan. 20 in Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar, a First Amend­ment challenge to a Florida rule that prohibits judicial candidates from personally requesting campaign contributions. The argument touched on everything from the differences between judges and politicians to the justices’ own experiences making requests of lawyers — and lawyers’ reluctance to say “no.”

For court watchers counting ­potential votes on each side, the argument left little guidance to how the court will ­ultimately rule. But if it rejects Florida’s rule, it will severely limit states’ ability to protect the integrity of our courts.

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