In Williams-Yulee, Justice Scalia opens up on the unelected judiciary (his colleagues), which faults Floridians who want to elect their judges. This dissent is blistering:
The Court tries to strike a pose of neutrality between appointment and election of judges, but no one should be deceived. A Court that sees impropriety in a candidate’s request for any contributions to his election campaign does not much like judicial selection by the people. One cannot have judicial elections without judicial campaigns, and judicial campaigns without funds for campaigning, and funds for campaigning without asking for them. When a society decides that its judges should be elected, it neces- sarily decides that selection by the people is more im- portant than the oracular sanctity of judges, their immun- ity from the (shudder!) indignity of begging for funds, and their exemption from those shadows of impropriety that fall over the proletarian public officials who must run for office. A free society, accustomed to electing its rulers, does not much care whether the rulers operate through statute and executive order, or through judicial distortion of statute, executive order, and constitution. The prescrip- tion that judges be elected probably springs from the people’s realization that their judges can become their rulers—and (it must be said) from just a deep-down feel- ing that members of the Third Branch will profit from a hearty helping of humble pie, and from a severe reduction of their great remove from the (ugh!) People. (It shouldnot be thought that I myself harbor such irreverent and revolutionary feelings; but I think it likely—and year by year more likely—that those who favor the election of judges do so.) In any case, hostility to campaigning by judges entitles the people of Florida to amend their Con- stitution to replace judicial elections with the selection of judges by lawyers’ committees; it does not entitle the Florida Supreme Court to adopt, or this Court to endorse, a rule of judicial conduct that abridges candidates’ speech in the judicial elections that the Florida Constitution prescribes.
I think this may be why Justice Alito didn’t join the dissent.
Scalia closes by lambasting the “Brotherhood of the Robe”:
This Court has not been shy to enforce the First Amendment in recent Terms—even in cases that do not involve election speech. It has accorded robust protection to depictions of animal torture, sale of violent video games to children, and lies about having won military medals. See United States v. Stevens, 559 U. S. 460 (2010); Enter- tainment Merchants, 564 U. S. ___; Alvarez, 567 U. S. ___. Who would have thought that the same Court would today exert such heroic efforts to save so plain an abridgement of the freedom of speech? It is no great mystery what is going on here. The judges of this Court, like the judges of the Supreme Court of Florida who promulgated Canon 7C(1), evidently consider the preservation of public respect for the courts a policy objective of the highest order. So it is—but so too are preventing animal torture, protecting the innocence of children, and honoring valiant soldiers. The Court did not relax the Constitution’s guarantee of freedom of speech when legislatures pursued those goals; it should not relax the guarantee when the Supreme Court of Florida pursues this one. The First Amendment is not abridged for the benefit of the Brotherhood of the Robe.