September 3, 1980
This is in response to your letter wherein you inquired as to the propriety of an incumbent judge responding to questionnaires, forwarded to all candidates by political organizations during the course of a campaign, requesting that the judge submit his views on issues of public concern. Six members of the Committee responded and they were unanimous that Canon 7B(1)(c) prohibits incumbent judges and non-incumbent for judicial office from responding to questionnaires covering such issues as gun control, abortion, the Equal Rights Amendment, condominium matters, right-to-work, etc.
Canon 7B(1)(c) provides as follows:
A candidate "should not...announce his views on disputed legal or political issues;..."
James T. Carlisle, Chairman
Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
cc: All Committee Members
Sid White, Clerk of the Supreme Court
William C. Clark, Chairman, Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission
Linda H. Yates, Managing Editor, Florida Bar Journal
Hon. Howard T. Markey, Chairman, Ethics Advisory Panel of the Judicial Conference of the U.S.
All references to the inquiring judge deleted
Participating members: Booth, Carlisle, O'Connell, Letts, Stephenson, Turner and Samuel Powers, Attorney