Opinion No. 164 (1993)

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.