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May 23, 2002

The Honorable Dennis L. James, President
Arkansas District Judges Council, Inc.
519 E. Capitol, Suite 2-West
Little Rock, Arkansas 72202

Re: Advisory Opinion No. 2002-05

Dear Judge James:

You have asked if the Arkansas District Judges Council, Inc. should endorse a law enforcement program of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department called
"CLICK IT or TICKET which is described as "a high-visibility statewide enforcement effort designed to detect violators of Arkansas' primary child passenger protection law and secondary seat belt law." You state that this program is a "very admirable one, in that it promotes safety and education of the public."

Members of your Council will be acting as judges of most all the charges brought under this program, and if the Council endorsed it, the member judges would certainly have to recuse since there would the appearance of bias or prejudice. Our answer is that an endorsement of this or any other law enforcement program, however worthy of support, by the Arkansas District Judges Council, Inc. or any individual judge would be in violation of the Arkansas Code of Judicial Conduct, Canons 1, 2 , 3 and 4.

Very truly yours,

Edwin Alderson
for the Committee

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