January 28, 1988
Topic: Endorsement of other party candidates by non-judge candidate for the office of Town Justice.
Digest: A candidate for the office of Town Justice, although not a judge at the time of his candidacy, is subject to the Code of Judicial Conduct and other rules applicable to judicial elections to the same extent as is a sitting judge candidate for that office, and he may not endorse other candidates for public office.
Rules: Code of Judicial Conduct, Canon 7A (1)(b).
A recent candidate for the office of Town Justice asks whether his non-judicial status during the period of his candidacy properly permitted him to endorse other candidates, and he also seeks clarification as to whether a non-judge candidate is subject to the Office of Court Administration Rules.
While the Rules of the Chief Administrator of the Courts do not address this issue, Canon 7 of the Code of Judicial Conduct clearly sets forth the rules governing elections for judicial office and expressly notes the applicability of those rules to all candidates for such office, whether judges or not. Canon 7A (1)(b) specifically states that “a judge or a candidate for election to judicial office should not ** publicly endorse a candidate for public office”. (See also Opinion 289 of N.Y. State Bar Association Committee on Professional Ethics - 4/27/73.)
This opinion is advisory only and is not binding upon the Office of Court Administration or the Commission on Judicial Conduct.