Opinion 209

An opinion is requested on the propriety of the following described political conduct:

Is it appropriate for a sitting State Court Judge to display a bumper sticker on his personal vehicle reading “RE-ELECT (NAME OF INCUMBENT SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE)” and to also publicly state: “I’m doing all I can to help my friend (name of incumbent Superior Court Judge)”?

Rule 4.1 provides:

(A) A judge or a judicial candidate for public election to judicial office shall not…(2) make speeches for a political organization or candidate or publicly endorse another candidate for public office

and in Opinion No. 147 (July 20, 1990), this Commission held that a judge could not place a bumper sticker endorsing the candidacy of his brother on his automobile.

Measured by these standards, the questions posed must be answered in the negative.

The Commission reminds all candidates, including incumbent judges, of the Applicability provisions of Rule 4.6 and urges full and immediate compliance with the requirements of this Opinion.

[Pertinent Code of Judicial Conduct provisions: Rule 4.1, Rule 4.6. Cross reference to other relevant opinions for review: #141, #147, #191, #203, #205.]

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