As amended through May 18, 2022
Canon 7 - A Judge or a Candidate for Judicial Office Should Refrain From Political Activity Inappropriate to Judicial OfficeA. Political Conduct in General:(1) A judge or candidate for judicial office should not:(a) hold any office in a political party;(b) make speeches on behalf of a political party or nonjudicial candidate or publicly endorse a candidate for nonjudicial office.(2) A judge or candidate for judicial office may:(a) attend political gatherings;(b) speak to such gatherings on the judge's own behalf or on behalf of other judicial candidates;(c) contribute to a political party.(3) A judge should resign the judicial office before becoming a candidate either in a party primary or in a general election for nonjudicial office.B. Campaign Conduct: (1) A candidate, including an incumbent judge, for a judicial office: (a) should maintain the dignity appropriate to judicial office, and should encourage family members to adhere to the same standards of political conduct that apply to the judge;(b) should prohibit public employees subject to the judge's direction or control from doing for the judge what the judge is prohibited from doing under this canon;(c) shall not, in connection with cases, controversies, or issues that are likely to come before the court, make pledges, promises, or commitments about conduct in office that are inconsistent with the impartial performance of the adjudicative duties of judicial office.(d) should not knowingly, or with reckless disregard, use or participate in the use of any form of public communication that is false.(2) These provisions govern a candidate, including an incumbent judge, for a judicial office: (a) A candidate should not personally solicit or accept campaign funds, or solicit publicly stated support by improper use of the judicial office in violation of B(1)(c). A candidate may send a thank-you note to a contributor.(b) A candidate may establish committees of responsible persons to secure and manage the expenditure of funds for the campaign and to obtain public statements of support (including support from lawyers) for the candidacy.(c) Such committees may solicit and accept campaign contributions from the public, including lawyers, as permitted by law.(d) A candidate's committee may not directly or indirectly accept funds from any committee that was established in connection with the candidate`s attempt to secure any other judicial or nonjudicial office. The committee may solicit funds for the campaign no earlier than February 15 of the year of the election, and may not solicit or accept funds after the date of the general election.(e) A candidate should not use or permit the use of campaign contributions for the private benefit of the candidate or the candidate's family.(f) If a candidate is not opposed for such judicial office, the candidate or the candidate's committee shall return to the contributors funds raised in excess of the actual costs incurred or contribute such funds to the client security fund of the State Bar of Michigan, not later than January 1 following the election. Likewise, any candidate or committee having funds remaining after payment of all campaign expenses shall either return such funds to the contributors thereof or donate the funds to the client security fund of the State Bar of Michigan, not later than January 1 following the election.(g) A candidate for judicial office may not pay an endorsing organization for its ranking or endorsement. However, a candidate for judicial office may contribute campaign funds to pay some of the costs associated with the publication of the endorsement or ranking of the candidate, provided the candidate secures from the endorsing organization an assurance, before the endorsement or ranking is made, that the endorsing organization will not: (i) demand payment from the candidate or the candidate's agent as a condition of the endorsement or favorable ranking, (ii) seek any assurance from the candidate before the endorsement or ranking is made that it will be paid if it endorses or ranks the candidate favorably,(iii) add an endorsement or favorable ranking of a different candidate in the event that the initially supported candidate decides not to pay the endorsing organization for publicizing its endorsement and favorable ranking,(iv) prevent the candidate from publicizing the endorsement or favorable ranking independent of the endorsing organization, regardless of whether the endorsing organization itself publicizes its endorsement or favorable ranking.(3) No judge should personally sell or permit any court or public employee working for or assigned to any court to sell fund-raising tickets or accept contributions of any kind on the judge's behalf or on behalf of any other judicial candidate.C. Wind up of law practice. (1) A successful elected candidate who was not an incumbent has until midnight December 31 following the election to wind up the candidate's law practice, and has until June 30 following the election to resign from organizations and activities, and divest interests that do not qualify under Canon 4.(2) Upon notice of appointment to judicial office, a candidate shall wind up the candidate's law practice prior to taking office, and has six months from the date of taking office to resign from organizations and activities and divest interests that do not qualify under Canon 4.
Mich. Code Judicial Conduct 7The Code of Judicial Conduct was updated March 9, 2016; amended effective 10/25/2018; amended effective 5/1/2019.