State of Washington
Ethics Advisory CommitteeOpinion 86-08
Is it proper for a judge’s spouse to conduct partisan campaign activities in the family home when the judge does not participate in, nor is identified with, any of the political activities?
Our answer is premised on the following representations made to the committee: 1) The judge’s spouse is an elected official to a partisan office; 2) the judge and spouse own a home which will be used as campaign headquarters for the spouse’s re-election campaign; 3) a fundraiser and other campaign activities will be held at their home; 4) the judge will not be identified on invitations sent for a fundraiser nor will the judge assist in any preparations for or be present at the fundraiser, and 5) the judge will not engage in any political activities conducted for the spouse’s campaign.
A judge does not violate the Code of Judicial Conduct when the spouse of the judge engages in political activities if the judge refrains from all participation in the political activities and is in no way identified with the political activities.
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