August 21, 1991
Canons 2A, 2B, 3C, and 5B
You inquire about remaining a member the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center and B'nai B'rith International. A majority of responding members recommend that you withdraw from the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center. Your membership in B'nai B'rith International is not proscribed by the Canons.
The Adam Walsh Child Resource Center is an organization which was created after the murder of a child, Adam Walsh, in Hollywood, Florida, several years ago. The Resource Center actively seeks child protective legislation at every level of government. The National Center is particularly concerned with legislative sentence provisions and sentences within the judiciary. Needless to say, it is their inclination to push for stiff penalties. The Center practices court watching for the purpose of "protecting the interest of children."
It is the opinion of the committee that your membership in this organization will detract from your function as a mutual and detached magistrate, in violation of Canon 2-A and Canon 2-B, as well as Canon 3-C and Canon 5-B. Having responded to your inquiry about belonging to the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center, the remainder of your inquiry concerning the propriety of your participation in its affairs is deemed moot.
With respect to your inquiry about belonging to B'nai B'rith the committee unanimously agrees your membership in this organization is not proscribed by the Canons. Please refer to the following opinions: 91-3, 89-21, 90-24, 88-30, 87-10, 85-11, 86-13, 88-24, 85-15, and 85-4.
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).
With regards, I remain,
Yours very truly,
Oliver L. Green, Jr.,Immediate Past Chairman
Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
cc: All Committee Members
Participating Members: Judges Green, Tolton, Booth, Dell, Doughtie,Frank, Goldstein, Farina, Shutter and Clarke, Esquire.
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
Judson Orrick, 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 .
Cynthia Grey,Director, American Judicature Society
Ms. Jean Underhill, Librarian, Broward County Law Library
Mr. Robert Wallace, Librarian, Dade County Law Library
Ms. Joan D. Cannon, Librarian, Supreme Court of Florida
William D. Wilkinson, Court Administrator, Lee County
Hon. Thomas H . Barkdull , Jr ., Third District Court of Appeal
Lynda Glyman, Esq. Center for Professional Responsibility, American Bar Association
Office of the State Courts Administrator, Legal Affairs & Education
Hon. Charles McClure, Chief Judge, Second Judicial Circuit