JUDGE AS COLUMNIST

Opinion No. 63 (1982)


QUESTION: May a judge write a weekly column concerning legal matters for publication in a newspaper?

ANSWER: Canon 4A of the Code of Judicial Conduct states as follows: "[A Judge] may speak, write, lecture, teach, and participate in other activities concerning the law, the legal system and the administration of justice." The Committee is of the opinion that the Code of Judicial Conduct encourages judges to write articles concerning the improvement of the law, the legal system and the administration of justice, provided that in doing so he does not cast doubt on his capacity to act impartially on any matter that may come before him. The Committee is of the further opinion that a judge should not answer inquiries from the public on any matter in the field of law, other than in those areas specifically enumerated above.