Topic: A part-time town justice, not a candidate for judicial office, is requested to give permission to a Congressman’s reelection Committee to use in the Congressman’s campaign a photograph of the justice being greeted by the Congressman.
Digest: A judge or justice who is not a candidate for judicial office may not give permission to a Congressman's reelection campaign Committee to use a photograph of the justice and Congressman as part of the Congressman's reelection campaign.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.2(c); 100.7(a)(c).
A part-time town justice was photographed at a commuter bus terminal being greeted by the local Congressman, who is a candidate for reelection. The justice is not a candidate for reelection. The reelection committee of the Congressman requests that the justice give permission to the committee to use the photograph taken at the bus terminal in the congressman’s reelection campaign. The justice inquires whether it is proper to give permission.
The Advisory Committee is of the opinion that the justice should not permit the use of the photograph in the Congressman's campaign.
Section 100.2(c) of the Rules of Judicial Conduct provides, inter alia, that “No judge shall lend the prestige of his or her office to advance the private interests of others....” Section 1OO.7(c) of such Rules prohibits a judge from "Participation, either directly or indirectly, in any political campaign for any office, except his or her own campaign for elective judicial office.” Under the facts presented by the inquiring justice, both of these Rules would be violated were the justice to permit the use of a photograph showing the justice being greeted by the Congressman as part of the Congressman’s reelection campaign.
Since the justice is not a candidate for judicial office campaigning on the same slate as the Congressman, the Committee need not and does not here address the question whether, pursuant to section 100.7(a) of the Rules of Judicial Conduct, the conclusion might be different under those circumstances.
This opinion is advisory only and does not bind either the Office of Court Administration or the Commission on Judicial Conduct.