May 3, 1978
Re: Canon 5B
The Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges acknowledges receipt of your recent inquiry relative to the propriety of your becoming a member of the Florida State University Alumni Association and authorizing the use of your name and photograph by the Association "to assist the Association in promoting memberships" incident to a recently inaugurated "dues/membership concept" by the Association. The "dues/membership concept" is for the purpose of enabling the Association "to expand its programs of both alumni and Florida State University". It is also to aid the Association in providing financial backing for new constituent alumni associations and for providing funds for activating new alumni clubs throughout the country.
Canon 5B permits a judge to participate in civic and charitable activities which do not reflect adversely upon his impartiality not interfere with the performance of his judicial duties. The Canon also permits a judge t serve as an officer, director, trustee, or non-legal advisor of an educational, religious, charitable, fraternal or civic organization "not conducted for the economic or political advantage of its members". The Canon prohibits a judge from soliciting funds for any educational, religious, charitable, fraternal or civic organization and prohibits the use of the prestige of his office for that purpose.
The Committee is of the view that certainly there is nothing in the Canons to prohibit your membership in the Florida State University Alumni Association. However, a majority of the Committee is of the view that Canon 5 prohibits the use of your name or photograph or the prestige of your office for the solicitation of funds, including membership dues.
It is, in the view of a majority of the Committee, the anticipated use of your membership, name and photograph which is proscribed. There is no impropriety in the publication of a judge's name and photograph in a roster of an organization of which he is allowed to be a member under the Canons.
Tyrie A. Boyer, Chairman
Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
Participating members: Judges Boyer, Carlisle, Haverfield, Hewitt, O'Connell, Stephenson, Turner and Samuel J. Powers, Attorney