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Opinion 53

A request for an opinion was submitted to the Commission as to whether it would be appropriate for a part-time State Court Judge, who also practiced law, to hold in his name a liquor license for one of his clients.

While the Commission is aware of the fact that the sale of alcoholic beverages is a legal business, and that the Commission would not seek to impose upon a part-time judge any moral or religious view where the matter dealt with legal sales, there were other factors involved as follows:

Since the Judge of the State Court has jurisdiction over misdemeanors involving the use and sale of alcoholic beverages, and since a State Court Judge holding such a license might well reflect upon his impartiality in such cases; and furthermore, since violations of state regulations or laws concerning acts and conduct which may be committed in or in connection with the license holder, and revocation proceedings may very well be instituted against the person holding the license, it is felt that it would be improper for such a judge to put himself in such a position.

Based on these facts, it is the opinion of this Commission that such activity would tend to detract from the dignity of said office and would tend to interfere with the performance of his judicial duties and therefore would be improper.

[Pertinent Code of Judicial Conduct provisions: Rules 1.2(B), 2.2, 2.4(C), 3.1(A), 3.11(B), 3.11(D). Cross reference to other relevant opinions for review: #11, #32, #61, #76, #102.]

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