February 26, 1986

Opinion No. 86/2

You inquire as to whether a judge may communicate with a Judicial Nominating Commission about a person whose application for judicial office is pending before that Commission.

The members of this committee unanimously agree that such conduct is not proscribed by the Florida Code of Judicial Conduct.

Opinion No. 82/8 is distinguishable because a communication as you propose does not bring into play public endorsement and has no bearing on the promotion of public conscience or the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. (See Canons 7A(1)(b) and 2A). Two members mentioned that such a communication would not involve the undue influence of your office. (See Canon 2B).

Three members of the committee stated they do not believe such a communication is a wise thing to do; however, they acknowledge that the committee is limited to basing its decisions on the Canons. On the other hand, three members believe it is a judge's duty to impart pertinent information about an applicant to an appropriate Commission. Five committee members recommend that you factually relate what you know about an applicant and let the Commission draw its own conclusion.

In summation, the committee unanimously believes you may communicate a factual, succinct, and discreet statement in support of, or in opposition to, a person whose application is pending before a Judicial Nominating Commission.


With regards, sincerely,

Oliver L. Green, Jr.
Chairman

cc: All Committee Members