Opinion No. 97 (1987)

QUESTION: Will the Judicial Ethics Committee write an opinion on the specified conduct of a judge, as to whether such conduct is a violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct, where a formal complaint for the same conduct has been filed with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, and the disposition of the complaint is pending?

ANSWER: No. The State Commission on Judicial Conduct is a constitutionally created commission, Tex. Const. Art. 5 Sec. 1-a, which is required to make disposition of complaints filed against judges. Your committee considers such a complaint to represent pending or impending litigation because certain dispositions of complaints by the commission are subject to judicial review. See, Tex. Const. Art. 5 Sec. 1-a(6)A, C (eff. Jan. 1, 1985).

The Judicial Ethics Committee is a nine judge committee created by the bylaws of the Judicial Section of the State Bar of Texas. As a committee, and individually, our conduct is subject to the provisions of the Code of Judicial Conduct. Canon 3A(6) states, "A judge should abstain from public comment about a pending or impending proceeding in any court..."

The Committee respectfully declines to make, knowingly, public comment on a pending or impending proceeding before the Commission on Judicial Conduct which may require judicial review.