Wednesday, April 4, 2012
A recent judicial ethics opinion from South Carolina:
ON STANDARDS OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT
OPINION NO. 7 - 2012
RE: The propriety of a Master-in-Equity participating in the campaign activities of his or her spouse.
An inquiry is made into the extent a Master-in-Equity can participate in the campaign activities of his/her spouse. The Master inquires as (1) whether the Master can appear in a family portrait to be used in campaign materials; (2) whether the Master can attend the spouse’s speeches or debates; and (3) whether the Master can attend the spouse’s election night party.
The Master has also been asked to speak to a local Republican Women’s Club to explain the role of a Master-in-Equity. The Master inquires as to whether accepting this invitation is proper.
A Master-in-Equity may appear in a family photo to be used in a spouse’s political campaign and attend a spouse’s election night party.
A Master-in-Equity may speak at a Republican Women’s Club on the role of the Master.
As to campaign events:
...the Master may attend debates or speeches of the spouse, and the election night party, as long as attendance is on the Master’s own time and the Master’s membership in the judiciary is not publicized or announced at such events. If the Master observes those measures, it would indicate that the Master is participating as a spouse, and would not constitute endorsement of a candidate for public office.