On December 16, 1997, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit handed WLF a victory in this important voting rights case. The Court rejected a lawsuit filed by several civil rights groups designed to require the public financing of judicial election campaigns in California. The court agreed with arguments in WLF’s brief filed in the case that the plaintiffs’ claim that public financing is constitutionally mandated is based on a misunderstanding of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. The plaintiffs assert that racial minority groups have not been able to compete effectively in judicial elections because their preferred candidates are less able to afford the high cost of election campaigns. The court agreed with WLF that the Equal Protection Clause ensures that all citizens have an equal right to vote for the candidates of their choice, but it does not require that discrete groups of citizens be afforded proportional representation among elected officials.