Opinion No. 136 (1990)

QUESTION: May a judge display on the judge's vehicle a bumper sticker supporting a political candidate?

ANSWER: No. For the reasons stated in Opinion No. 130 a judge's public endorsement of a candidate for public office violates the Code of Judicial Conduct. After Opinion 130 was issued, the Texas Supreme Court amended Canon 7(3) so that it now expressly prohibits the public use of a judge's name endorsing another candidate. The Committee concludes that a judge displaying such a bumper sticker would also violate at least the spirit of this new Canon 7(3) provision, because a judge cannot realistically separate the prestige of judicial office from the judge's personal affairs. See Opinion No. 73.