November 10, 1988


Opinion 88/25

Campaign utterances
Canon 7

Re: Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
Your inquiry dated September 9, 1998

Dear Judge

After consideration by the Committee of your inquiry, I am expanding my letter to you dated September 15, 1899.

Six members of the Committee believe that response to the type of inquiries set forth in your September 9 communication should be expressed to in no greater degree than is set forth in my September 15 letter.

One member has expressed the view that the comments about which you inquire are proscribed by Canon 7B.

One member declined to respond and exercised the right of recusal.

The committee is expressly charged with rendering advisory opinions interpreting the application of the Code of Judicial Conduct to specific circumstances confronting or affecting a judge or judicial candidate. Its opinions are advisory to the inquiring party, to the Judicial Qualifications Commission and to the judiciary at large. Conduct that is consistent with an advisory opinion issued by the committee may be evidence of good faith on the part of the judge, but the Judicial Qualifications Commission is not bound by the interpretive opinions issued by the committee. Petition of the Committee on Standards of Conduct for Judges 327 So2d 5 (Fla. 1976).

Cordially yours,

Richard H. Frank, Chairman
Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges

cc: All Committee Members

Participating Members: Judges Booth, Frank, Goldstein, Green, Levy, Shutter, Tolton and Attorney Page

Note to distribution: The Chairman's letter dated Sept 15 to the inquiring judge (absent all reference to the judge) is appended and incorporated as part of this opinion

All reference to the inquiring judge is deleted from the copies sent to the following individuals.

Mr. Sid White, Clerk of the Supreme Court of Florida
Linda Yates, Managing Editor, The Florida Bar Journal
Brooke S. Kennerly, Executive Director, Judicial Qualifications Commission.
Hon. Walter K. Stapleton, Chairman, Ethics Advisory Panel of the Judicial Conference of the United States .
Jeffrey M. Shaman, Esquire, Director, Center for Judicial Conduct Organizations
Ms. Jean Underhill, Librarian, Broward County Law Library
Mr. Robert Wallace, Librarian, Dade County Law Library
Mr. Brian Polley, Librarian, Supreme Court of Florida