September 12, 1991
Digest: A judicial candidate may not circulate individual nominating petitions of other election candidates, but may circulate petitions for a slate of candidates which includes the judge.
Rules: 22 NYCRR §100.7(c); Canon 7 of the Code of Judicial Conduct.
A judge inquires whether a judicial candidate may circulate nominating petitions for candidates in an election in which the judge is also a candidate.
Section 100.7 of the Rules of Chief Administrator provides:
No judge during a term of office shall hold any office in a political party or organization or contribute to any political party or political campaign or take part in any political campaign except his or her own campaign for elective judicial office. Political activity prohibited by this section includes:
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(c) Participation, either directly or indirectly, in any political campaign for any office, except his or her own campaign for elective judicial office.
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(e) Any other activity of a partisan political nature.
The conduct of all candidates, whether incumbent or not, for election to judicial office is governed by Canon 7 of the Code of Judicial Conduct. Opinion 289 of the Committee on Professional Ethics of the New York State Bar Association provides that “canons, the guidelines and all other rules applicable to judicial campaigns apply not only to judges but also to others seeking judicial office, and persons acting on their behalf, and apply to campaigns for primary as well as general elections”.
Neither the judge nor any other judicial candidate may circulate nominating petitions for any other candidates, except that they may circulate nominating petitions for a slate of candidates, where the judicial candidates also are on the slate.