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RULE 4.1

Political and CampaignActivities of Judges and Judicial Candidates* in General

(A) Except aspermitted in this Canon, a judge or a judicial candidate shall not:

(1) act as a leaderin, or hold an office in, a political organization;*

(2) make speeches onbehalf of a political organization;

(3) publicly endorseor oppose a candidate for any public office;

(4) solicit fundsfor, pay an assessment to, or make a contribution* to a political organizationor a candidate for public office;

(5) attend orpurchase tickets for dinners or other events sponsored by a politicalorganization or a candidate for public office;

(6) publicly identifyhimself or herself as a member of a political organization, except as necessaryto vote in an election;

(7) seek, accept, oruse endorsements from a political organization;

(8) use court staffor make excessive use of court facilities or other court resources in seekingjudicial office;

(9) knowingly,* orwith reckless disregard for the truth, make any false or misleading statementin seeking judicial office;

(10) make anystatement that would reasonably be expected to affect the outcome or impair thefairness of a matter pending* or impending* in any court; or

(11) make pledges,promises, or commitments other than the faithful, impartial and diligentperformance of judicial duties.

(B) A judge orjudicial candidate shall take reasonable measures to ensure that other personsdo not undertake, on behalf of the judge or judicial candidate, any activitiesprohibited under this Canon.



[1] Even when subjectto public election, a judge plays a role different from that of a legislator orexecutive branch official. Rather than making decisions based upon theexpressed views or preferences of the electorate, a judge makes decisions basedupon the law and the facts of every case. Therefore, in furtherance of thisinterest, judges and judicial candidates must, to the greatest extent possible,be free and appear to be free from political influence and political pressure.This Canon imposes narrowly tailored restrictions upon the political andcampaign activities of all judges and judicial candidates.


[2] Public confidencein the independence and impartiality of the judiciary is eroded if judges orjudicial candidates are perceived to be subject to political influence.

[3] Although membersof the families of judges and judicial candidates are free to engage in theirown political activity, including running for public office, there is no ?familyexception? to the prohibition in paragraph (A)(3) against a judge or candidatepublicly endorsing candidates for public office. A judge or judicial candidatemust not become involved in, or publicly associated with, a family member?spolitical activity or campaign for public office. To avoid publicmisunderstanding, judges and judicial candidates should take, and should urgemembers of their families to take, reasonable steps to avoid any implicationthat they endorse any family member?s candidacy or other political activity.

[4] Judges andjudicial candidates retain the right to participate in the political process asvoters in both primary and general elections.


[5]Judicial candidatesmust be scrupulously fair and accurate in all statements made by them and bytheir campaign committees. Paragraph (A)(9) obligates candidates and theircommittees to refrain from making statements that are false or misleading, orthat omit facts necessary to make the communication considered as a whole notmaterially misleading.

[6] Judicialcandidates are sometimes the subject of false, misleading, or unfairallegations made by third parties or the media. For example, false ormisleading statements might be made regarding the identity, present position,experience, qualifications, or judicial rulings of a candidate. In othersituations, false or misleading allegations may be made that bear upon acandidate?s integrity or fitness for judicial office. As long as the candidatedoes not violate other provisions of this Canon, the candidate may make afactually accurate public response.

[7] Subject to theprovisions of this Canon, a judicial candidate is permitted to respond directlyto false, misleading, or unfair allegations made against him or her whileseeking judicial office, although it is preferable for someone else to respondif the allegations relate to a pending case.

[8] Paragraph (A)(10)prohibits judicial candidates from making comments that might impair thefairness of pending or impending judicial proceedings. This provision does notrestrict arguments or statements to the court or jury by a lawyer who is ajudicial candidate, or rulings, statements, or instructions by a judge that mayappropriately affect the outcome of a matter.


[9] The role of ajudge is different from that of a legislator or executive branch official, evenwhen the judge is subject to public election. Campaigns for judicial officemust be conducted differently from campaigns for other offices.

[10] Paragraph(A)(11) makes applicable to both judges and judicial candidates the prohibitionthat applies to judges in Rule 2.10(B), relating to pledges, promises, orcommitments that are inconsistent with the impartial performance of theadjudicative duties of the judicial office.

[11] The making of apledge, promise, or commitment is not dependent upon, or limited to, the use ofany specific words or phrases; instead, the totality of the statement must beexamined to determine if a reasonable person would believe that the candidatefor judicial office has specifically undertaken to reach a particular result.

[12] A judicialcandidate may make promises related to judicial organization, administration,and court management, such as a promise to dispose of a backlog of cases, startcourt sessions on time, or avoid favoritism in appointments and hiring. Acandidate may also pledge to take action outside the courtroom, such as workingtoward an improved jury selection system, or advocating for more funds toimprove the physical plant and amenities of the courthouse.

RULE 4.2

Political andCampaign Activities of Judges in Retention Elections

(A) A judge standingfor retention shall act at all times in a manner consistent with theindependence,* integrity,* and impartiality* of the judiciary and shallencourage members of the judge?s family* to adhere to the same standards ofconduct in support of the judge that apply to the judge.

(B) If a judgestanding for retention has drawn public opposition, the judge may operate acampaign for office subject to the following limitations:

(1) The judge shallcomply with all applicable election, election campaign, and election campaignfund-raising laws* and regulations ;

(2) The judge shallnot directly solicit* or accept campaign funds or solicit public statements ofsupport, but may establish committees of responsible persons to secure andmanage the expenditure of funds for the campaign and to obtain public statementsof support. Committees may solicit campaign contributions* and publicstatements of support from lawyers and non-lawyers. Surplus contributions heldby the committee after the election shall be contributed without publicattribution to the Utah Bar Foundation. Committees must not permit the use ofcampaign contributions for the private benefit of the judge or members of thejudge?s family;

(3) The judge shallreview and approve the content of all campaign statements and materialsproduced by his or her campaign committee before their dissemination;

(4) The judge mayspeak to public gatherings on the judge?s own behalf;

(5) The judge mayrespond to personal attacks or attacks on the judge?s record, provided theresponse is consistent with other provisions of this Rule; and

(6) When a party orlawyer who made a contribution of $50 or more to the judge?s campaign committeeappears in a case, the judge shall disclose the contribution to the parties.The requirement to disclose shall continue from the time the judge forms acampaign committee until 180 days after the judge?s retention election. COMMENT

[1] Campaigncommittees may solicit and accept campaign contributions, manage theexpenditure of campaign funds, and generally conduct campaigns. Judges are responsiblefor compliance with the requirements of election law and other applicable lawand for the activities of their campaign committees.

[2] At the start of acampaign, the judge must instruct the campaign committee to solicit or acceptonly such contributions as are reasonable in amount, appropriate under thecircumstances, and in conformity with applicable law. Although lawyers andothers who might appear before a retained judge are permitted to make campaigncontributions, the judge should instruct his or her campaign committee to beespecially cautious in connection with such contributions, so that they do notcreate grounds for disqualification if the judge is retained. See Rule 2.11.


RULE 4.3

Activities of JudgesWho Become Candidates for Nonjudicial Office

(A) Upon becoming acandidate for a nonjudicial elective office, a judgeshall resign from judicial office, unless permitted by law* to continue to holdjudicial office.

(B) Upon becoming acandidate for a nonjudicial appointive office, ajudge is not required to resign from judicial office, provided that the judgecomplies with the other provisions of this Code.


[1] In campaigns for nonjudicial elective public office, candidates may makepledges, promises, or commitments related to positions they would take and waysthey would act if elected to office. Although appropriate in nonjudicial campaigns, this manner of campaigning isinconsistent with the role of a judge, who must remain fair and impartial toall who come before him or her. The potential for misuse of the judicial officetogether with the political promises that the judge would be compelled to makein the course of campaigning for nonjudicial electiveoffice, dictate that a judge who wishes to run for such an office must resignupon becoming a candidate.

[2] The ?resign torun? rule set forth in paragraph (A) ensures that a judge cannot use thejudicial office to promote his or her candidacy and prevents post-campaignretaliation from the judge in the event the judge is defeated in the election.When a judge is seeking appointive nonjudicialoffice, however, the dangers are not sufficient to warrant imposing the ?resignto run? rule.