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GEORGIA WEIGHS RULES FOR JUDICIAL CANDIDATES.

The public has until Oct. 20 to comment on the Georgia Supreme Court's proposed new rules for judicial candidates.

The rules were drafted in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Republican Party of Minnesota v. White, striking down that state's restrictions on judicial campaign speech, and a federal appellate decision in Weaver v. Bonner striking down parts of the Georgia Code.

The proposed rules provide that candidates would:

* Not be permitted to commit themselves on issues likely to come before the court, although they could "appear to commit" themselves.

* Not be allowed to lie knowingly or recklessly about themselves or their opponents, although negligent misstatements would no longer be punishable.

* Be allowed to solicit campaign donations personally.

* Not be required to "maintain the dignity appropriate to judicial office."

* Not be subject to Judicial Qualifications Commission orders to stop speech determined to be false or otherwise in violation of the canons.

A ban on statements that are misleading but not factually false would be dropped.
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Publication:Liability & Insurance Week
Date:Oct 6, 2003
Words:167
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