SUPPORT OF BOND ELECTION

Opinion No. 64 (1982)*


QUESTION: May a judge actively support a bond election to raise funds to develop a city water project?

ANSWER: No, for several reasons. First, a judge should regulate his outside activities to minimize the risk of conflict with his judicial duties. Elections often are contested, and to actively engage in a bond election could interfere with the judicial responsibility of the judge. Secondly, a judge should refrain from using the prestige of his office to help a political organization to raise funds. Canon 5, Code of Judicial Conduct. Thirdly, a judge should uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary. Involvement in an election, other than his own, by a judge tends to raise questions of why he is involved and casts doubts on his capacity to decide impartially an issue that may come before him. A majority of the Committee is of the opinion that to actively participate in such an election would violate the Code of Judicial Conduct.

_______________

*Canon 5B(2) was amended effective December 19, 1989.