July 8, 1993
(Canon 5G - Committee interviewing high school seniors seeking admission to national military (academies
Re: Committee on Standard of Conduct Governing Judges. Your inquiry dated May 53, 1993
You have asked for our committee's opinion concerning service on a committee which will interview and make recommendations about Florida high school seniors seeking admission to the nation military academies. This committee would presumably report to the local congress person.
Of the seven committee members responding to your inquiry, all seven concur that service on such a committee would violate Canon 5G which states that a judge should not accept appointment to a governmental committee commission or other position that is concerned with issues of fact or policy on matters other than the improvement of the law, the legal system or the administration of justice. Our prior opinion, 93-20, supports this position.
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).
Very truly yours,
Nath C. Doughtie, Chairman
Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
cc: All Committee Members
Office of State Court Administrator (name of Judge deleted from this copy)
Participating members: Judges Doughtie, Farina, Goldstein,Green, Patterson, Rushing, Tolton and Edwards, Esq.