Wednesday, June 07, 2006

JUDICIAL ETHICS AND SPEAKING UP FOR A JUDICIAL NOMINEE -- When exactly does a judge promote the private interests of others?
A longtime friend of White House counsel Harriet Miers, [Texas Supreme Court Justice] Hecht gave more than 120 media interviews during her failed Supreme Court nomination. Hecht coordinated strategy with White House aides and agreed to take media calls straight from the White House, according to a recent investigation.

He even joked to the Texas Lawyer newspaper that he was acting as "PR for the White House."

But a "'spokesman?' No way," he told the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct, which last month admonished Hecht for his activities on behalf of Miers. The Texas Code of Judicial Conduct prohibits judges from doing anything to "advance the private interests of the judge or others."
A group of fed appellate judges testified before Congress on behalf of then-nominee Samuel Alito. But that is probably different because those judges advanced Justice Alito's interests before a branch of government, rather than in the media. But didn't they promote the interests of another? Maybe the rule is too broad?