Tuesday, December 24, 2013
An opinion from the Florida Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee:
May a judge attend an annual event called “God and Country Day,” organized by a local church which focuses on the laws of the state and country and its foundation in Judeo-Christian values?
Is it permissible for a judge to pose for a photograph with the pastor and other elected officials, knowing that it would be published in a local newspaper?
ANSWER: Yes, unless the judge is aware or has reason to believe that the pastor intends to use the photograph to advance the private interests of the church through solicitation of members or donations.
If asked, may the judge make public religious comments from the pulpit at this event?
ANSWER: Yes, as long as the judge’s comments do not otherwise violate the Canons.