Circuit Judge David Goodson
Division 7 Second Judicial District
320 W. Court St., #210
Paragould, AR 72450
asked whether your wife may work, either as a volunteer or as
a paid employee, in the political campaign of a candidate seeking
election to a statewide office.
of Judicial Conduct places clear restrictions on a judge. A
judge may not publicly endorse or publicly oppose a candidate
seeking election to office. Canon 5 (A) (1). A judge may not
identify himself as a member of a political party. Canon 5 (F).
In addition the judge must encourage members of the candidate's
family to adhere to the same standards of political conduct.
Canon 5 (A) (3). The context of that language suggests that
in the course of judicial campaigns, the candidate must encourage
his relatives to behave in the same fashion.
the issue here is whether the Code bars a spouse from participating
in a non-judicial political campaign. We note that the Commentary
to the Code states that family members are free to participate
in other political activity. Further it is questionable whether
authority exists to bar relatives, who do not serve as public
servants, from political life.
that the spouse of a judge is free to participate in other political
campaigns. The participation may be on a paid or on a voluntary
basis. However, the spouse should make all efforts to avoid
any suggestion or hint that the judge is supportive of a candidate.
Howard W. Brill
For the Committee