SUBJECT: Participation in an Educational Assembly
The inquiring judge asks whether he may participate in the Martin County Education Assembly. According to his letter of invitation from the Honorable Tom Warner, State Representative, purpose of the assembly is to establish a shared vision for a model public education system for Martin County and to build consensus and develop policy recommendations to help the county achieve that goal. The assembly is sponsored by a number of public and private sector entities and will be coordinated by the Florida Institute of Government at Florida Atlantic University and the Florida Atlantic University/Florida International University Joint Center for Environmental and Urban Problems.
The Committee sees no violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct in this proposed activity. Canons 5C(1) and (2) are not, in the opinion of the Committee, implicated because the proposed assembly is neither a public hearing nor a governmental committee or commission. The purpose of the assembly is to establish a shared vision for the county's public education system, but, as the Committee reads the request, the inquiring judge has not asked to be permitted at this point to participate in the implementation of any policy recommendations that may come out of the assembly.
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 So.2d 5 (Fla.1976).
Charles J. Kahn, Jr.
Chairman, Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
Participation Members: Judges Cardonne, Dell, Green, C. Kahn, L. Kahn, Patterson, Rushing, Silverman, Tolton and Attorney Novicki
cc: All Committee Members
Office of the State Courts Administrator (name of judge deleted from this copy)
Editor's note: The original opinion does not contain the date on which the opinion was issued.