Attorney at Law
Bagby Law Firm
P. O. Box 766
Van Buren, AR 72957
Opinion # 2001-05
indicated to this committee that you intend to run for Circuit
Judge in the general election of May 2002. You ask about the
applicability of Canon 5C(2) of the Arkansas Code of Judicial
Conduct in light of the adoption of Amendment 80 to the Arkansas
prohibits fundraising by the committee of a candidate prior
to 180 days before a primary election. With the new amendment
and implementing statutes, the general elections for judges
have been moved from November to May. However, the Arkansas
Supreme Court has not changed the language of the Code.
of the Code provision was to place limits on the length of judicial
campaigns. That intent applies also to non-partisan elections.
no authority to rewrite the Code or to temporarily suspend its
operation. We note that the Court has in the past made quick
changes in the Code, see for example, the Per Curiam of November
19, 1990, 303 Ark. 755 (nepotism), and the Per Curiam of May
30, 1995, 320 Ark. 715 (judicial stationery) and can certainly
do so in this instance if it wishes.
It is our
opinion that Canon 5C(2) is applicable and, therefore, fundraising
may not begin until 180 days prior to the May 2002 election.
Howard W. Brill
for the Committee