Thursday, September 15, 2005

Roberts Hearings Part III - Judicial Ethics

On why John Roberts appears, at times, not to be answering the questions put to him by the Judiciary Committee, see the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct, Canon 5A (3)(d)(ii), which states:
A candidate for a judicial office shall not make statements that commit or appear to commit the candidate with respect to cases, controversies or issues that are likely to come before the court.
And the commentary:
Section 5A(3)(d) prohibits a candidate for judicial office from making statements that appear to commit the candidate regarding cases, controversies or issues likely to come before the court. As a corollary, a candidate should emphasize in any public statement the candidate's duty to uphold the law regardless of his or her personal views. See also Section 3B(9), the general rule on public comment by judges. Section 5A(3)(d) does not prohibit a candidate from making pledges or promises respecting improvements in court administration. Nor does this Section prohibit an incumbent judge from making private statements to other judges or court personnel in the performance of judicial duties. This Section applies to any statement made in the process of securing judicial office, such as statements to commissions charged with judicial selection and tenure and legislative bodies confirming appointment. See also Rule 8.2 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.

Lawyers should know this. Journalists, apparently not.

No comments: