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Judicial Discipline and the Appearance of Impropriety

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Title: Judicial Discipline and the Appearance of Impropriety
País: USA
Idioma: English
Fuente: Fuente: Minnesota Law ReviewFuente: Minnesota Law Review
Reseña: Although it has been suggested that“[o]nly mothers are divinely capable of judiciously using theappearance of impropriety to judge someone” and that “[m]eremortals should stick to facts,”20 punishing judges for appearingto violate an ethical rule began with the first American Bar As... Although it has been suggested that “[o]nly mothers are divinely capable of judiciously using the appearance of impropriety to judge someone” and that “[m]ere mortals should stick to facts,” punishing judges for appearing to violate an ethical rule began with the first American Bar Association (ABA) model code of judicial ethics enacted in 1924. The ABA reaffirmed the disciplinary rule in its most recent Model Code of Judicial Conduct: “A judge shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.”No one questions the utility of the appearance of impropriety standard when employed as an aspirational guide. The reputation of a judge and the judiciary as a whole is enhanced by circumspect conduct on and off the bench. The divisive issue within the judicial ethics community is whether a violation of the standard is sufficient to form an independent basis for disciplining a judge. Some hail the use of the appearance of impropriety for disciplinary purposes as the only effective means to maintain public confidence in the judicial system. Others characterize the rule as “unbelievably ambiguous” and “susceptible to great abuse and thus potentially dangerous to judicial legitimacy.”This Article examines the disciplinary use of the appearance of impropriety standard from a theoretical and practical standpoint.


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