Republican Party of Minnesota v. White, 536 U. S. 765, was a decision of the Supreme Court of the United States regarding the First Amendment rights of candidates for judicial office. In a 5–4 decision, the court ruled that Minnesota's announce clause, which forbade candidates for judicial office from announcing their views on disputed legal and political issues, was unconstitutional. Minnesota, like many states, had a code of judicial ethics that constrained candidates seeking to be elected as judges from discussing issues that could come before them if elected and announcing their views—referred to as an "announce clause." In 1996, Gregory Wersal ran for associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. He distributed literature critical of several Minnesota Supreme Court decisions. An ethics complaint was filed against him. In 1998, Wersal ran again for the same office. However, this time he preemptively filed suit in Federal District Court against Suzanne White, the chairperson of the Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards.
Wersal charged that the announce clause limited his right to free speech and made a mockery of the election process by denying him the ability to wage a meaningful campaign. The Republican Party of Minnesota joined in Wersal's lawsuit, arguing that the restrictions prevented the Party from learning Wersal's views on the issues, thus making an informed decision to oppose or support his candidacy; the district court found. Wersal appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, they affirmed the district court's decision. Wersal filed for a writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court, granted. In a 5–4 ruling, the Supreme Court reversed the Eighth Circuit and declared Minnesota's announce clause to be in violation of the First Amendment; the Court reasoned that Minnesota's announce clause "burden a category of speech, at the core of First Amendment freedoms -- speech about the qualifications of candidates for public office." The Court concluded that the announce clause was not narrowly tailored to serve the state's compelling interest in judicial impartiality and therefore failed the test of strict scrutiny.
In 2006, a retired Justice O'Connor expressed concern about her vote in the White case, stating "That case, I confess, does give me pause." James Bopp List of United States Supreme Court cases, volume 536 Rutan v. Republican Party Text of Republican Party of Minnesota v. White, 536 U. S. 765 is available from: Cornell Findlaw Justia First Amendment Library entry on Republican Party of Minnesota v. White mp3 Recording of the oral argument Transcript of the oral argument PDF of slip opinion Article on political vs. independent judges at The Economist
Robert Edward Gurney, England, 1939, is a British writer. He lives in England, he studied Modern Languages at St Andrews University in Scotland. He has travelled in Europe and Latin America. Between 1964 and 1967 he worked in Uganda. In 1972 he conducted interviews with the Spanish poet Juan Larrea in Argentina, he obtained a doctorate in Spanish from the University of London in 1975, thesis title:The Poetry of Juan Larrea. He lectured on Modern French Poetry, The Generation of ’27 and Modern Latin American Poetry at Middlesex University. Much of Gurney's work is in the National Library of Wales, he writes in Spanish. Poemas a la Patagonia, St Albans, 2004. Luton Poems, St Albans, 2005. El cuarto oscuro y otros poemas, Madrid, 2008. Poemas a la Patagonia, edición aumentada, Madrid, 2009. La libélula y otros poemas / The Dragonfly and Other Poems, Madrid, 2013. La casa de empeño y otros poemas / The Pawn Shop and Other Poems, Madrid, 2014. To Dylan, Llandeilo, 2014. Dylan’s Gower, Llandeilo, 2014. El acantilado y otros poemas, Llandeilo, 2017.
Antología poética, Madrid, 2018 Two Days in Ireland, 2018. A Night in Buganda, Tales from Post-Colonial Africa, St Albans, 2014 Absurd Tales from Africa, Llandeilo, 2017 Bat Valley and Other Strange African Animal Stories, Llandeilo, 2017 The River and Other Poems, translation of Andrés Bohoslavsky’s El río y otros poemas, St Albans, 2004 Nueve monedas para el barquero, St Albans, 2005 Los poetas de la senda, antología de la poesía mundial, Madrid, 2014 Stories in Antología de cuento breve, serial pecados, México, 2012 – 2015: "The Greedy Academic", Gula. In 2007 Gurney won a prize for poems on the theme "Rimbaud" in the Concurso de Poesía Libre de Artesanías Literarias, Israel. In 2010 he won a Juan Laurentino Ortiz prize, Paraná, Argentina