Opinion 108

An Advisory Opinion has been requested as to whether a judge can offer himself or herself as a delegate, uncommitted to any candidate, to participate in a political convention.

Rule 4.1 provides in part as follows:

Political Conduct in General

(A) A judge or a judicial candidate for public election to judicial office shall not:

(1) act or hold himself or herself out as a leader or hold any office in a political organization;

(2) make speeches for a political organization or candidate or publicly endorse another candidate for public office; 

For that reason, the foregoing question must be answered in the negative both because, as a delegate, the judge would hold an office in a political organization and because, even though initially uncommitted, the ultimate result of his participation as a delegate would be commitment to the party nominee.

[Pertinent Code of Judicial Conduct provisions: Rules 3.7(A), 3.11, 4.1, 4.2. Cross reference to other relevant opinions for review: #1, #23, #58, #36, #81, #83, #118, #124, #147, #165.]

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