Pride Against Prejudice Project at ]  [ History ]  [ Alabama ]  → Canons of Judicial Ethics

Canons of Judicial Ethics

The Canons of Judicial Ethics in Alabama are actually quite simple. Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore has purposefully violated all Canons but #6 (although even his financial filings raise questions):

Alabama Canons of Judicial Ethics

Canon #1 A judge should uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary.
Canon #2 A judge should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all his activities.
Canon #3 A judge should perform the duties of his office impartially and diligently.
Canon #4 A judge may engage in activities to improve the law, the legal system, and the administration of justice.
Canon #5 A judge should regulate his extra-judicial activities to minimize the risk of conflict with his judicial duties.
Canon #6 A judge should regularly file reports of his financial interests.
Canon #7 A judge or a judicial candidate shall refrain from political activity inappropriate to judicial office.

Let's look at each of the Canons in more detail, but first is the Preamble:

Preamble: The first Code of Legal Ethics in the United States was formulated and adopted by the Alabama State Bar Association in 1887. This first Code was adopted with only minor changes by Georgia, Virginia, Michigan, Colorado, North Carolina, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri between 1887 and 1906, and finally by the American Bar Association in 1908. Recognizing Alabama’s leadership in the field of professional ethics and mindful that the character and conduct of a judge should never be objects of indifference and that declared ethical standards tend to become habits of life, the Supreme Court of Alabama deems it desirable to formulate and establish those principles which govern the conduct of members of the judiciary. The Supreme Court of Alabama accordingly adopts the following canons, as a Code for judges and a declaration of that which the people of the State of Alabama have a right to expect of them.

Continue to Canon #1