July 31, 2013
This responds to your inquiry (13-81) asking whether it is ethically impermissible for your spouse to run for and hold the office of secretary for a county political party committee.
While the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct prohibit judges from engaging in any political activity except as specifically authorized by the Rules, there is no prohibition against a judge’s spouse’s independent political, so long as the spouse engages in such activities solely in his/her own name and behalf (see Opinion 12-20; 08-168). Therefore, the fact that you are a judge does not preclude your spouse from engaging in her own individual political activities, including running for and holding the office secretary for a county political party committee.
I have enclosed a copy of Opinions 12-20 and 08-168 for your convenience.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)