Virginia Supreme Court weighs complaint against judges

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia Supreme Court is considering whether to discipline two retired judges who campaigned against a voter referendum on whether to move a county courthouse.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the Judicial Inquiry Review Commission is asking the court to censure former Virginia Court of Appeals Judge Rudolph Bumgardner III and former Circuit Judge Humes J. Franklin Jr.

The JIRC said the judges had violated a judicial canon by actively campaigning against the referendum to move the Augusta County courthouse, a referendum that ultimately failed.

But supporters of the judges, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia, said the judges should not be punished for exercising their First Amendment rights.

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Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.timesdispatch.com

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