March 22, 1976
Re: Canon 2, 5G
This is in response to your recent letter inquiring whether it would be permissible for you under the Canon of Judicial conduct to attend a legislative appreciation function in Washington, D.C. sponsored by the Florida State Chamber of Commerce.
Your letter states that the Florida State Chamber of Commerce holds a
legislative appreciation day in Washington, D.C. each year and the function
is not to promote any individual or group but, rather, you advise that the
function is an expression of appreciation by the Chamber of Commerce for
the efforts exerted on behalf of the State by the representatives and senators.
Upon review of your inquiry it is the opinion of the majority of the Committee that your attendance at the event, as described in your letter, is not prohibited by the Code of Judicial Conduct and in particular Canon 7 governing the permissible and impermissible political activity of judges. One member of the Committee was of the opinion that an appreciation function honoring elected public officials appears to be an activity to promote the political advantage of those being honored and hence prohibited by Canon 7A(4); reference is made by the same member to section 105.07(1)(4), F.S.
We appreciate your inquiry and trust the foregoing will be of some assistance to you.
Chairman, Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
Participating members: Haverfield, Hewitt, Kaney, Mason, Murphee, Stephenson and Thomas MacDonald, Esquire