“It Ain’t Pretty and We Should Not Pretend That It Is”

The broader context, from the dissent in In re Michels (N.Y. Comm. on Jud. Conduct Nov. 17, 2011):

As a Commission, our duty is to respect both the First Amendment and the quandary this system imposes upon judicial candidates. It ain’t pretty and we should not pretend that it is. Therefore, we should give every judicial candidate the benefit of the doubt when there is any margin to do so. That’s the least the First Amendment demands and the least we can do to be fair to the judges who face this unenviable process which is necessary to ply their idealistic, supremely difficult trade.

The decision involves an interesting and difficult question of the permissible scope of restrictions on misleading candidate speech in judicial campaigns; those interested in the subject should check it out.

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