Opinion 90-177

December 11, 1990


Digest:         A part-time judge may attend a political debate between two candidates running for a public office, if the debate is not sponsored by a political organization.


Rules:          22 NYCRR 100.7(a)


         A part-time judge, who is not running for office, inquires whether it is permissible to attend a forum where two candidates for public office will be engaged in a debate, and whether there is any difference if the debate is sponsored by a non-political civic or religious organization or by a political organization.

         Section 100.7 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator of the Courts states that a judge who is not running for office may not, “purchase, directly or indirectly,... tickets to politically sponsored dinners or other affairs, or [attend]... such dinners or affairs, including dinners or affairs sponsored by a political organization for a non-political purpose...”

         Attendance at a debate between candidates for public office is not prohibited, if the debate is sponsored by a non-political organization. However, if debate is sponsored by a political organization, the judge may not attend.