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Opinion 129

The Commission has been asked for an opinion as to whether a judge can serve as a member of the Executive Committee of the Democratic Party of a County. While this question has not been directly addressed, Rule 4.1(A) provides:

“(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…” 

and, in Opinion No. 118, this Commission has held that a judge cannot serve as a member of the State Committee of The Democratic Party. For the same reason, a judge cannot serve as a member of a County Executive Committee of the Democratic party. As such, he would be both a leader and an office holder in a political organization in clear violation of the foregoing Canon.

[Pertinent Code of Judicial Conduct provisions: Rules 2.4(B), 2.11(A), 2.11(C), 3.11(B), 3.11(D). Cross reference to other relevant opinions for review: #1, #23, #36, #58, #81, #83, #108, #118, #124, #147, #165.]

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