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Section/Rule:Canon 4
Subject: Rule 2 - Rules Governing the Missouri Bar and the Judiciary - Code of Judicial Conduct Publication / Adopted Date:January 29, 1998
Topic:A Judge or Candidate for Judicial Office Shall Not Engage in Political or Campaign Activity that is Inconsistent with the Independence, Integrity, or Impartiality of the Judiciary.Revised / Effective Date:January 1, 2012

CANON 4

A JUDGE OR CANDIDATE FOR JUDICIAL OFFICE SHALL NOT ENGAGE IN POLITICAL OR CAMPAIGN ACTIVITY THAT IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE INDEPENDENCE, INTEGRITY, OR IMPARTIALITY OF THE JUDICIARY.

Rule 2-4.1 Political Conduct of Judges and Judicial Candidates in General
Rule 2-4.2 Campaign Conduct of Judges and Judicial Candidates

RULE 2-4.1 Political Conduct of Judges and Judicial Candidates in General

(A) No judge appointed to or retained in office in the manner prescribed in section 25(a)-(g) of article V of the state constitution shall directly or indirectly make any contribution to or hold any office in a political party or organization or take part in any political campaign.

(B) If a judge is nominated and elected as a candidate of a political party, an incumbent judge or candidate for election to judicial office may attend or speak on the judge or candidate's own behalf at political gatherings and may make contributions to the campaign funds of the party of choice. However, neither the judge nor the candidate shall accept or retain a place on any party committee or act as party leader or solicit contributions to party funds.

(C) A judge shall resign judicial office when the judge becomes a candidate either in a party primary or in a general election for a nonjudicial office, except that a judge may continue to hold judicial office while being a candidate for election to or serving as a delegate in a state constitutional convention, if otherwise permitted by law to do so.

(D) 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.

(E) Persons appointed as a circuit or associate circuit judge selected pursuant to section 25(a)-(g) of article V of the state constitution and their employees shall not directly or indirectly make any contributions to or hold an office in a political party or organization or take part in any political campaign.

RULE 2-4.2 Campaign Conduct of Judges and Judicial Candidates

(A) A candidate, including an incumbent judge, for a judicial office that is filled either by public election between competing candidates or on the basis of the non-partisan court plan: (B) A candidate, including an incumbent judge, for a judicial office that is filled by public election between competing candidates shall not solicit or accept campaign funds in a courthouse or on courthouse grounds. Such candidate shall not solicit in person campaign funds from persons likely to appear before the judge. A candidate may make a written campaign solicitation for campaign funds of any person or group, including any person or group likely to appear before the judge.

The candidate may establish committees of responsible persons to secure and manage the expenditure of funds for the campaign. Such committees are not prohibited from soliciting campaign contributions in person and may distribute the candidate's written requests for campaign funds.

A candidate shall not use or permit the use of campaign contributions for the private benefit of the candidate or members of the candidate's family.

(C) An incumbent judge who is a candidate for retention in or reelection to office without a competing candidate, and whose candidacy has drawn active opposition, may campaign in response thereto and may obtain publicly stated support and campaign funds in the manner provided in Rule 2-4.2(B).
Comment

[1] Under Rule 4-8.2(b) a lawyer who is a candidate for judicial office must comply with the applicable provisions of the Code of Judicial Conduct.

A candidate for judicial office should consider whether his or her conduct may create grounds for recusal for actual bias or a probability of bias pursuant to Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co., 556 U.S. ___ (2009), or whether the conduct otherwise may create grounds for recusal under this Rule 2 if the candidate is elected to or retained in judicial office.

(Adopted Jan. 29, 1998, eff. Jan. 1, 1999. Amended July 20, 2011, eff. Jan. 1, 2012.)