JUDGE'S SPOUSE A CANDIDATE
FOR ELECTIVE OFFICE

Opinion No. 180(1995)


QUESTION: May a judge whose spouse is a candidate for elective office:

1) Allow the judge's name and title to be used in press releases or campaign literature identifying the candidate as the judge's spouse?

2) Attend campaign functions with the candidate?

3) Be introduced by name and title as the candidate's spouse?

4) Speak at public gatherings generally in support of the spouse's candidacy?

ANSWERS:
1) No. Canon 2B provides that a judge should not lend the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interests of the judge or others. Additionally, the use of the judge's name and title in campaign literature could be perceived as a public endorsement of another candidate for public office in direct violation of Canon 5(3).

2) Yes. A judge may attend political events so long as any views expressed by the judge comport with the applicable canons. Canon 5(3).

3) No. Identifying the judge by title would lend the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interests of another. Canon 2B.

4) No. The judge's public support of the spouse's candidacy would violate Canon 2B and Canon 5(3). See opinions No. 60, 73, 130.