Back in 2009, Lanell Williams-Yulee, a Tampa, Florida, attorney, made a decision to run for the office of county court judge. She began her campaign by sending a mass mailing to potential supporters, asking for contributions ranging from $25 to $500. Her appeal did not attract any response, but it did engender a complaint from the Florida bar, which charged her with violating a rule of judicial ethics by personally soliciting donations from potential supporters. But Williams-Yulee claimed that the Florida bar’s rule violated the First Amendment by wrongfully restricting her speech.
The Florida Supreme Court rejected her First Amendment claim, reprimanded her for not adhering to the ethics rule, and ordered her to pay court costs of nearly $1,900.
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