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In re Code of Judicial Conduct

Supreme Court of Mississippi

December 12, 2019

IN RE: CODE OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT

          ORDER

          DAWN H. BEAM, JUSTICE

         This matter is before the en banc Court on the Court's own motion. After due consideration, the Court finds that Canon 5C(2) and Canon 5F of the Code of Judicial Conduct shall be amended as set forth in Exhibit A.

         IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the Code of Judicial Conduct is hereby amended as set forth in Exhibit A. The amendments shall take effect immediately upon entry of this Order.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of this Court shall spread this Order upon the minutes of the Court and shall forward a true copy hereof to West Publishing Company for publication in the next edition of the Mississippi Rules of Court and in the Southern Reporter, Third Series (Mississippi Edition).

         SO ORDERED

          AGREE: RANDOLPH, C.J., COLEMAN, MAXWELL, BEAM, CHAMBERLIN, ISHEE AND GRIFFIS, JJ.

          AGREES IN PART: KITCHENS, P.J.

          AGREES IN PART AND DISAGREES IN PART: KING, P.J.

          RANDOLPH, C.J., SPECIALLY CONCURRING WITH THE ORDER WITH SEPARATE WRITTEN STATEMENT JOINED BY MAXWELL, BEAM, CHAMBERLIN AND GRIFFIS, JJ.; ISHEE, J., JOINS IN PART.

          KING, P.J., OBJECTING TO THE ORDER IN PART WITH SEPARATE WRITTEN STATEMENT JOINED BY KITCHENS, P.J.

         CONCURRENCE TO THE ORDER

          RANDOLPH, CHIEF JUSTICE, SPECIAL

         ¶1. The issue of whether language should be eliminated from Canon 5C(2) has been vetted for more than six months. The vetting of Canon 5C(2) began shortly after the Report of the 2018 Special Committee on Judicial Election Campaign Intervention was filed. This document was filed and furnished to all members of this Court on May 30, 2019. Shortly after the filing, the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance and legal counsel met with members of this Court to vet this Report and other matters related to Canon 5C(2). The language also was vetted by this Court's Rules Committee on the Legal Profession, followed by en banc discussions in the ensuing months before entry of this Order.

         ¶2. The 2007 American Bar Association Model Code of Judicial Conduct has never been fully incorporated into the Mississippi canons. See Canon 5C(4) cmt. Much of the ABA's 2007 revision was in response to the United States Supreme Court ruling in RepublicanParty of Minnesota v. White, 536 U.S. 765, 122 S.Ct. 2528, 153 L.Ed.2d 694 (2002). In White, the court ruled that a state judicial-conduct rule that ...


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