Federal judicial employee code of conduct

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rinkrat19
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Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:35 am

Federal judicial employee code of conduct

Postby rinkrat19 » Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:31 am

I was just skimming through and saw this:

Canon 5: A Judicial Employee Should Refrain from Inappropriate Political Activity
(A)
Partisan Political Activity
A judicial employee should refrain from partisan political activity; should not act as a leader or hold any office in a partisan political organization; should not make speeches for or publicly endorse or oppose a partisan political organization or candidate; should not solicit funds for or contribute to a partisan political organization, candidate, or event; should not become a candidate for partisan political office; and should not otherwise actively engage in partisan political activities.

I assume you can still vote while employed by the court (at least I hope so! Or is that "actively engaging in partisan political activities"?), but am I right in interpreting this as you aren't allowed to make your usual private donation to your political party of choice?

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jonas
Posts: 101
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Re: Federal judicial employee code of conduct

Postby jonas » Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:52 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:I was just skimming through and saw this:

Canon 5: A Judicial Employee Should Refrain from Inappropriate Political Activity
(A)
Partisan Political Activity
A judicial employee should refrain from partisan political activity; should not act as a leader or hold any office in a partisan political organization; should not make speeches for or publicly endorse or oppose a partisan political organization or candidate; should not solicit funds for or contribute to a partisan political organization, candidate, or event; should not become a candidate for partisan political office; and should not otherwise actively engage in partisan political activities.

I assume you can still vote while employed by the court (at least I hope so! Or is that "actively engaging in partisan political activities"?), but am I right in interpreting this as you aren't allowed to make your usual private donation to your political party of choice?

Yes, you can still vote. But no political donations.

See Advisory Opinion 92 of the Committee on Codes of Conduct of the Judicial Conference:

Committee on Codes of Conduct
Advisory Opinion No. 92
Political Activities Guidelines for Judicial Employees

. . .

I. Political Activities Permitted for All Covered Employees

The following activities are consistent with the provisions of Canon 5 of the Employees’ Code. For example, covered employees may:
a. register and vote in any primary or general election, including register as a member of a political party;
b. express an opinion privately as an individual citizen regarding a political candidate or party; and
c. participate in the nonpolitical activities of a civic, charitable, religious, professional, educational, cultural, avocational, social, fraternal, or recreational organization described in Canon 4 of the Code.

II. Partisan Political Activities Prohibited for All Covered Employees

Under Canon 5A, a covered judicial employee should refrain from partisan political activity, including the following:
a. taking an active role in a partisan political organization;
b. becoming a candidate for partisan political office;
c. publicly endorsing a partisan political candidate or organization by authorizing use of the employee’s name, making speeches, or participating in a partisan political convention, caucus, rally, or fund-raising activity. However, employees who may permissibly participate in nonpartisan activities under Canon 5B may participate in caucuses in those states where caucuses substitute for primary elections, but only to the extent necessary to cast a vote. They may not participate beyond that extent, for example by attempting to influence other voters, and they may not identify themselves as associated with the court;
d. publicly displaying a campaign picture, sign, sticker, badge, or button for a partisan political candidate or organization;
e. soliciting funds for or contributing to a partisan political organization, candidate, or event;
f. initiating or circulating a nominating petition for a candidate in a partisan political election;
g. participating in a campaign in support of or in opposition to a candidate in a partisan political election; or
h. serving in any position at a polling place in a partisan election or serving in any other position that relates to voting in a partisan election.

III. Nonpartisan Political Activities Prohibited for Members of a Judge’s Personal Staff and Certain Court Unit Heads

Under Canon 5B, a member of a judge’s personal staff, clerk of court, chief probation officer, chief pretrial services officer, circuit executive, or district court executive, should refrain from nonpartisan political activity, including the following:
a. becoming a candidate for nonpartisan political office;
b. participating in a campaign in support of or in opposition to a candidate in a nonpartisan political election, including publicly displaying a campaign picture, sticker, badge or button or making speeches for or against nonpartisan candidates;
c. making speeches for or publicly endorsing or opposing a nonpartisan political candidate;
d. soliciting funds for or contributing to a nonpartisan political candidate or event;
e. initiating or circulating a nominating petition for a candidate for a nonpartisan political election; or
f. serving in any position at a polling place in a nonpartisan election or serving in any other position that relates to voting in a nonpartisan election. . . .

http://www.uscourts.gov/Viewer.aspx?doc ... B-Ch02.pdf

goodolgil
Posts: 923
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 6:01 pm

Re: Federal judicial employee code of conduct

Postby goodolgil » Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:38 pm

I remember my property professor telling us that most judges tend to live very insular lives for these reasons and that most don't vote.




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