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Supreme Court Rules Table of Contents

Code of Judicial Conduct Table of Contents

RULES OF THE SUPREME COURT
OF THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

ADMINISTRATIVE RULES 35 TO 59

 

Rule 38. Code of Judicial Conduct


CANON 4

A JUDGE OR JUDICIAL CANDIDATE SHALL REFRAIN FROM INAPPROPRIATE POLITICAL ACTIVITY.

 

 

Rule 4.1 Political Conduct in General

(A) A judge shall not:

(1)  act as a leader or hold any office in a political organization:

(2)  make speeches for a political organization or candidate or publicly endorse a candidate for public office;

(3)  solicit funds for or pay an assessment or make a contribution to a political organization of candidate, attend political gatherings, or purchase tickets for political party dinners, or other functions.

(B)  A judge shall resign form judicial office upon becoming a candidate either in a party primary or in a general election, except that the judge may continue to hold judicial office while being a candidate for election to or serving as a delegate in a state constitutional convention or a moderator of any governmental unit, if the judge is otherwise permitted by law to do so.

(C)  A judge shall not engage in any other political activity except on behalf of measures to improve the law, the legal system, or the administration of justice.

 

 

Rule 4.2  Judicial Candidates

(A)  A candidate for judicial office:

(1)  shall maintain the dignity appropriate for judicial office and act in a  manner consistent with the impartiality, integrity and independence of the judiciary, and shall encourage members of the candidate's family to adhere to the same standards of political conduct in support of the candidate as apply to candidate; and

(2)  shall not:

(a)  with respect to cases, controversies, or issues that are likely to come before the court, make pledges, promises or commitments that are inconsistent with the impartial performance of the adjudicative duties of the office; or

(b)  knowingly misrepresent the identity, qualifications, present position or other fact concerning the candidate or any other candidate or potential candidate.

 

Comment

 

[1] Section 4.2(A) prohibits a candidate for judicial office from making statements that 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 2.10, the general rule on public comment by judges.  Section 4.2(A)(2) 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 recommending judicial selection and executive officials and bodies charged with nominating or confirming appointment.  See also Rule 8.2 of the NH Rules of Professional Conduct.

[2] This section is not intended to prohibit a judge from attending a candidates' night to which all candidates for a particular office have been invited.


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Supreme Court Rules Table of Contents

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