Do Judges Have First Amendment Rights?
The First Amendment has become a war horse ridden by many. Now a new question – do judges have First Amendment rights to comment on litigation before them?
Certainly most all members of the litigation industry fight hard to try to win comments and decisions from judges. Think Judge Jack and silica. And for years now, we’ve had judges out speaking at litigation conferences.
IMHO, the 2d Circuit’s ruling is hard to understand in an age in which Justices from SCOTUS give summer time talks on cases, Judge Posner and Justice Scalia are debating in public, and, as mentioned above, trial judges of all sorts are panelists speaking at specialized conferences on cases of the sort they are handling.