APPELLATE JUDGE WRITING ARTICLE
DISCUSSING PRIOR DECISION

Opinion No. 191 (1996)


QUESTION: May a judge on the Court of Criminal Appeals or the Supreme Court write a newspaper article in the form of an opinion/editorial piece discussing his/her stated position on a case that has been finally resolved by the Court?

ANSWER: No. Canon 3(B) prohibits a judge from discussing a matter which may show his/her probable decision in a matter. Even though a matter has already been decided, it can be revisited and the opinion/editorial would be talking about more than just particular procedures of the court, which is what this Canon allows. More importantly, this would be a direct violation of Canon 3(B)11 where a judge is not allowed to talk about "discussions, ..., positions taken," and/or "writings of appellate judges..." as these "shall be revealed only through a court's judgment, a written opinion or in accordance with Supreme Court guidelines...."