State of Washington
Ethics Advisory CommitteeOpinion 95-02
CJC Canon 3(C) requires a judicial officer to be disqualified from hearing cases in which his or her impartiality might reasonably be questioned.
The judicial officer should examine past involvement and public positions on specific statutes or ordinances that would lead a reasonable person to conclude that the officer was not impartial in particular cases. In those instances disclosure of the involvement or activity is the remedy.
The judicial officer should not preside over proceedings in which the judicial officer's spouse has prepared presentence reports or other reports for the court because acting in those cases would call the judicial officer's impartiality into question.
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