State of Washington
Ethics Advisory CommitteeOpinion 97-17
May a judicial officer participate on a public university’s minority community advisory committee?
The president of a public university is establishing a minority community advisory committee to advise the president on questions facing the school. The president is seeking views on affirmative action and other diversity programs and the challenges they currently face. As these programs continue to encounter social and legal scrutiny, the president is seeking a closer connection between the university and minority community members.
CJC Canon 5(B) provides that judicial officers may participate in civic or educational activities that do not reflect adversely upon their impartiality or interfere with the performance of judicial duties. A judicial officer may participate on a public university’s minority community advisory committee because that would not reflect adversely upon the judicial officer’s impartiality or interfere with the performance of judicial duties. The judicial officer should take care in expressing opinions on legal issues that might come before him or her.
Also see Opinions 93-13 and 95-9.
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