USE OF TITLE "JUDGE" BY MINICIPAL
RUNNING FOR JUSTICE OF THE PEACE
Opinion No. 164 (1993)
QUESTIONS: 1. May a municipal court judge running for Justice of the Peace use the
title "Judge" in campaign literature, campaign stationery, and press releases?
2. May a municipal court judge running for Justice of the Peace use a photograph of
herself wearing a judicial robe in campaign literature and newspaper articles?
ANSWER: Yes to both questions.
In Opinion 137 (1990), the committee stated in answer
to question 3 that "a judge's campaign literature should state the judge's present
title and position, . . .." The committee also stated that the judge should not use
"judicial letterhead" to solicit contributions or other support for the judge's
campaign. The term "judicial letterhead" was defined in that opinion as
"letterhead that shows a judge's title, position, and official address and is
suitable for official judicial correspondence." Thus, the committee concludes that
while the municipal court judge may use the title "Judge" in campaign
literature, stationery, and press releases, she should not use "judicial
letterhead" as defined in Opinion 137 for those purposes.
In Opinion 159 (1993), the committee stated in answering
questions 1 and 2 that a judge running for non-judicial political office should
not use the title "Judge" in political advertising or in the name of a campaign
committee. The committee believes that a different result is proper when a judge is
running for a judicial office. In that case, the committee believes that it is permitted
to use the title "Judge" in political advertising, in the name of the campaign
committee, in campaign literature, in campaign stationery, in campaign press releases, and
in newspaper articles. In addition, a judge may describe in her political literature her
experience as a judge, see Opinion 159, question 3.