SAN FRANCISCO—The California Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions (CJEO) invites public comment on a draft opinion discussing whether judicial officers may serve on the board of a charter school or a nonprofit organization operating one or more charter schools.

CJEO Draft Formal Opinion 2017-011 advises against service on a charter school board, based on the unsettled case law regarding whether service on a charter school board is a governmental position and therefore prohibited by canon 4C(2).  Moreover, the risk of automatic resignation from judicial office upon acceptance of a charter school board position if such position is found to be a public office pursuant to Article VI, section 17 of the California Constitution further leads to the committee’s recommendation that a judge not serve on a charter school board.

The draft opinion and invitation to comment are posted on the committee’s website. The deadline for comment is April 12, 2017.

The committee invites the public to comment on this draft advisory opinion. All comments submitted to the committee are confidential communications and precluded from disclosure unless confidentiality is waived. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 9.80(h); CJEO Internal Operating Rules and Procedures, rule 5(b), (e).) Those comments submitted with a waiver of confidentiality will be posted for public view on the CJEO website at the close of the comment period. All of the comments the committee receives will be carefully considered by the CJEO members when finalizing and approving CJEO Formal Opinion No. 2017-011.

After considering the public’s comments on the draft opinion, the committee will decide whether or not to publish an opinion in final form. Comments are due by April 12, 2017, and may be submitted in any of the following ways: 

Online using this Comment Form;

By email to Judicial.Ethics@jud.ca.gov; or

By mailing comments to Ms. Nancy Black, Committee Counsel, The California Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions, 350 McAllister Street, San Francisco, California  94102.

CJEO is an independent committee appointed by the Supreme Court to help inform the judiciary and the public concerning judicial ethics topics. CJEO was established as part of the court’s constitutional responsibility to guide the conduct of judges and judicial candidates (Cal. Const., art. VI, § 18, subd. (m)). In making appointments to serve on CJEO, the court selects members of the bench with a strong background in judicial ethics and diverse courtroom experience. The current twelve CJEO members are justices, judges, a commissioner, and a retired bench officer who have served in courts of various sizes throughout the state.

CJEO publishes formal opinions, issues confidential informal opinions, and provides oral advice on proper judicial conduct pursuant to the California Code of Judicial Ethics and other authorities. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 9.80(e)(1).) CJEO acts independently of the Supreme Court, the Commission on Judicial Performance, the Judicial Council, the Administrative Office of the Courts, and all other entities. (Rule 9.80(b).)

For more information about CJEO, visit the CJEO website and view the members’ page, call toll-free at 1 (855) 854-5366, or email Judicial.Ethics@jud.ca.gov.

 

The Supreme Court established the Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions (CJEO) to help inform the judiciary and the public concerning judicial ethics topics. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 9.80.)  CJEO publishes formal advisory opinions, issues confidential written opinions, and provides oral advice on proper judicial conduct pursuant to the California Code of Judicial Ethics and other authorities.  In providing its advisory opinions, the committee acts independently of the Supreme Court, the Commission on Judicial Performance, the Judicial Council, and all other entities.  (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 9.80(b).) The Supreme Court is responsible for adopting the Code of Judicial Ethics, which guides the conduct of judges on and off the bench (Cal. Const., Art.VI, § 18, subd. (m).)