May 21, 1993
Canon 4B, 2B
Letter regarding Presidential appointment
You have asked whether you may write a factual letter to the President of the United States regarding a presidential appointment to the board of directors of the Legal Services Corporation.
You state the letter will be based on experiences and observations of the prospective presidential appointee who served with you on Florida Bar committees and on a commission on probation reform. Also, you write that the board is non-partisan and its activities are to set policy and select officers to provide civil legal services to the poor through state and local programs. The appointment will need to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
All eight participating committee members agree that pursuant to Canon 4B you may consult with an executive official on matters concerning the administration of justice. Also, they agree that legal services programs concern the administration of justice.
Two members state that the letter should be factual, succinct, discreet and based on direct knowledge. They express concern the letter not be construed to be the use of judicial office prestige to advance the private interest of others.
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,
Harvey Goldstein, Chairman
Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
cc: All Committee Members
Participating members: Judges Tolton, Kahn, Doughtie, Dell, Goldstein, Farina, Rushing and Edwards, Esq.
Office of State Court Administrator, Legal Affairs &Education