March 14, 1988
Topic: Judge to serve as chair of incorporated regional chapter of religious “crusade.”
Digest: Permissible for judge to serve as chair of incorporated regional chapter of national religious “crusade,”provided judge does not solicit funds, or allow his name to be used in solicitation of funds, or preside or speak or allow his name to be used at any event where fundraising takes place.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.5[b)(2)
A judge asks the Committee whether it is permissible to assume the position of chair of an incorporated regional chapter of a national religious “crusade.”
Section 100.5(b)(2) of the Rules of Judicial Conduct of the Chief Administrator of the Courts (22 NYCRR 100.5[b][ 2]) provides as follows:
(2) No judge shall solicit funds for any educational, religious, charitable, fraternal or civic organization, or use or permit the use of the prestige of the office for that purpose, but may be listed as an officer, director or trustee of such an organization, provided, however, that no such listing shall be used in connection with any solicitation of funds. No judge shall be a speaker or the guest of honor at an organization's fundraising events, but he or she may attend such events. Nothing in this Part shall be deemed to prohibit a judge from being a speaker or guest of honor at a bar association function.
In accordance with this Rule, a judge may serve as chair of an incorporated regional chapter of a national religious “crusade,” provided that the judge does not solicit funds, allow his name to be used in soliciting funds, or preside over, or speak at, or allow his name to be used at any event where fundraising takes place.
The judge also inquires whether the term “crusade,” used in the title of the organization presents any problem from a judicial ethics point of view, with respect to the propriety of the judge's participation. The Committee is of the opinion that the word “crusade,” used in the title of the organization, has no significance as a matter of judicial ethics, and that its appropriateness is purely a matter of individual taste or preference.
This opinion is advisory only and is not binding upon the Commission on Judicial Conduct or the Office of Court Administration.