June 27, 2012
Bumper Stickers And Judicial Ethics
A recent opinion from the Florida Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee:
If a judicial candidate knows that: (1) a supporter is displaying the judicial candidate’s campaign sign on the supporter’s vehicle, (2) the supporter also is displaying a partisan candidate’s campaign sign on the supporter’s vehicle, and (3) the judicial candidate could have the supporter remove the judicial candidate’s campaign sign from the supporter’s vehicle, must the judicial candidate do so?
ANSWER: Yes, if the supporter is an employee or official who serves at the pleasure of the candidate. But if the supporter is an employee or official subject to the candidate’s direction and control, the candidate is merely required to discourage the supporter from such conduct. If the supporter is neither of these, the candidate is not required to take action but the committee would urge the candidate to do so.
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