State of Washington
Ethics Advisory CommitteeOpinion 88-06
May a superior court judge, who has announced impending retirement, publicly endorse the candidacy of a commissioner who intends to run for the position presently held by that superior court judge?
May a judge, while still holding office, and after having announced impending retirement, endorse the candidacy by lending the judge’s name as honorary chair of a campaign committee for and on behalf of the commissioner’s candidacy for the superior court position?
CJC Canon 7(A)(1)(b) permits a judge, who has announced impending retirement, to publicly endorse the candidacy of the commissioner who intends to run for that judge’s position because it is a judicial position. A sitting judge may serve as an honorary chair of a judicial campaign, provided the sitting judge is not involved in candidate fundraising. The judge’s service as an honorary chair may not interfere with the judge’s judicial duties, which take precedence over all other activities (CJC Canon 3).
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