April 11, 1974
Re: Canon 7;4
Re: Standards of Judicial Conduct
In your letter of March 26, 1974, you asked the Committee on Standards of
Judicial Conduct for their opinion as to the propriety of a judge accepting
an invitation to appear before a local political party meeting for the purpose
of explaining and discussing the new judicial system.
A majority of the committee suggests that a judge refrain from attending
political gatherings even though his attendance there would be for educational
purposes. There is the question of, "how educational the educational
talk would be" or appear to be. We are reminded that a judge should
not use, or appear to use, his position on behalf of any political party.
While Canon 7, does not specifically prohibit an appearance as outlined,
yet when read in conjunction with the commentary under Canon 4, and also
Chapter 105 F. S., the committee concludes that a judge's public appearance
at a partisan political meeting is impermissible under the code.
With high esteem, I am
/s/GUNTER STEPHENSON, as Chairman
Committee on Standards of Judicial Conduct
cc: Committee members