Opinion 91-37


March 14, 1991


Please review Opinion 08-196 before relying on this opinion to calculate the start of the window period for a candidate for Supreme Court

 

Digest:         A judge’s campaign committee may solicit funds commencing nine months before the judicial nominating convention, and the judge may attend fundraising functions of the committee, but may not personally solicit funds.

 

Rules:          22 NYCRR §100.7; Canon 7 of the Code of Judicial Conduct


Opinion:


         A full-time judge who is an announced judicial candidate inquires of the earliest date that the judge’s campaign committee may commence soliciting contributions.


         Section 100.7(a)(1) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator provides that the restrictions of fundraising by judges “shall not apply during a period beginning nine months before a primary election, judicial nominating convention, party caucus or other party meeting for nominating a candidate for elective judicial office for which the judge is an announced candidate, or for which a committee or other organization has publicly solicited or supported his or her candidacy.”


         During this period, the rules permit a judge to “attend a fundraising dinner or affair on behalf of the judge’s own candidacy,” but the judge “may not personally solicit contributions at such dinner or affair.”


         The judge’s election committee may solicit funds for the judge’s campaign nine months before the judicial convention, Likewise, the judge may attend fundraising functions of the committee on the judge’s behalf but may not personally solicit funds.


         Although Canon 7 of the Code of Judicial Conduct states that judicial fundraising may not commence until “six months” prior to the primary election, despite this inconsistency there is no actual conflict between the Rules and the Code, since the preamble to the Code provides:

 

To the extent that any provision of this Code of Judicial Conduct is inconsistent with any rule applicable to the conduct of judges heretofore or hereafter issued by the Administrative Board of the Judicial Conference, [now the Rules of the Chief Administrator or the Courts] the rules of such Board [Chief Administrator] shall prevail.