December 13, 2001
"Window Period" for a candidate who sought but did not obtain nomination
the office of justice of the Supreme Court at a judicial nominating convention ends six months following the date of each judicial nominating convention in which the candidate sought a nomination, even if the conventions were in consecutive years.
Election Law § 6-106; 6-158; 22 NYCRR; 100.0(A); 100.0(Q); 100.5(A)(1);
A judge asks whether the expiration date of the "Window Period" during which a judge who is a candidate for judicial office may engage in otherwise prohibited political activity (22 NYCRR 100.5[A]() governs even if the judge was an announced candidate for vacancies in the office of justice of the Supreme Court for two or more consecutive years.
The "Window Period" is defined in section 100.0(Q) of the Rules Governing
Judicial Conduct (22 NYCRR 100.0[Q]) as:
. . . a period beginning nine months before a primary election,
judicial nominating convention, party caucus or other party meeting
for nominating candidates for the elective judicial office for which
a judge or non-judge is an announced candidate . . . and ending, if
the judge. . . is a candidate in the general election for that office, six
months after the general election, or if he or she is not a candidate in
the general election, six months after the date of the primary election,
convention, caucus or meeting.
While judges generally are prohibited from engaging in political activity (22 NYCRR 100.5[A]), a judge who is a candidate for judicial office may engage in certain authorized political activities during the "Window Period." (22 NYCRR 100.5[A]). Section 100.0(A) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct defines a candidate as " . . . a person seeking selection for or retention in public office by election." That same section further provides that "[A] person becomes a candidate for public office as soon as he or she makes a public announcement of candidacy, or authorizes solicitation or acceptance of contributions."
Candidates for Justice of the Supreme Court are selected by a judicial nominating convention (Election Law §6-106) that must be held during the month of September preceding the general election at which the vacancy in the office of justice of the Supreme Court will be filled (Election Law §6-158).
In accordance with section 100.0(Q) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct,
the "Window Period" for such candidates who are not nominated expires six
months following the date on which the judicial nominating convention was
held. This is the case even when a judge is a candidate for nomination
in two or more consecutive years. And, if there will be a vacancy in the
next succeeding calendar year, the unsuccessful candidate may announce
for that vacancy nine months prior to the date of the judicial nominating
convention to be held to select candidates to fill that vacancy, thereby
beginning a new Window Period.