MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Supreme Court's conservative majority threw out a petition to bar judges from hearing cases involving the largest donors to their election campaigns.
The court voted 5-2 on Thursday to reject a rule change suggested by 54 retired Wisconsin judges and favored by several liberal groups and individuals. Supporters had argued it was necessary to protect the integrity of the court.
Conservative Justice Rebecca Bradley argued changing the rules would violate the U.S. Constitution because campaign donations amount to free speech.
The court's liberal justices pushed for a public hearing on the matter after the petition garnered dozens of submitted comments. The court also voted against a hearing.
The conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty and 11 retired judges opposed the change.