January 3, 1994
The Honorable Harry A. Foltz, Chancellor
Sebastian County Courthouse
615 Parker Street
Fort Smith, Arkansas 72901-2495
RE: JEAC Opinion #93-07 (Adding to JEAC Opinion #93-04)
Judicial Campaign Surplus Funds
Dear Judge Foltz:
This is written in response to your letter addressed to Mr. Badami,
dated November 5, 1993, in which you ask our opinion as to whether that portion of Canon
5C(2) of the Code of Judicial Conduct, adopted July 5, 1993, to-wit:
". . . ANY campaign fund surplus SHALL be returned to the
contributor or turned over (sic) the State Treasurer as provided by law." (emp.
suppl.); applies to surplus funds accumulated prior to July 5, 1993. You express
familiarity with our opinion 93-04, issued August 23, 1993, that interpreted this
provision so we see no profit in attaching a copy of it (one will be furnished you at any
time upon request), and we will make reference to it only in a general way.
Actually, that opinion answered your inquiry(s), but we now
recognize that the portion of it dealing with your question(s) should have been detailed
far beyond the rather summary way of that disposition. For this we apologize to you in
particular, and to the Judiciary as a whole. Also, your statutory reference A.C.A. '
7-6-203(j)(3)A was then brought to our attention, along with other references, all of
which we considered in reaching that prior result, which we now affirm.
The wording of this provision of the Code clearly applies to any and
every, each and all campaign surplus funds, without exception or exclusion, including the
time of its accumulation, or variance with legislative acts, or other rule of law. The
problem of which may override the other, e.g., legislative enactment or the Canon, is a
question of law upon which we may not comment.
We trust that this clarifies opinion 93-04, but if not please
Bruce T. Bullion
For the Committee
We concur in the opinion of Judge Bullion, but we offer the
following unsolicited advice. If a judge or judicial candidate has a campaign surplus and
elects to return it to the contributors, the distribution should be made in a fair and
equitable fashion with the candidate or judge having discretion to arrange the details.
Howard W. Brill
Edwin B. Alderson