April 2, 1982


TO: Magistrates and Municipal Judges
FROM: H. Lee Smtih, Staff Attorney
RE: Political Activity

A number of questions are raised each election year regarding magistrates and municipal judges engaging in political activity. Canon 7 of the Code of Judicial Conduct (Rule 501, SCACR) which applies to all judicial officers strictly limits the permissible scope of a judge's political conduct.

Magistrates and municipal judges, as judges whose offices are not filled by public election, are generally prohibited from engaging in any political activity other than that activity involved in lobbying on behalf of measures to improve the law, the legal system, or the administration of justice. If you have questions regarding the permissible scope of a magistrate's political activity, please do not hesitate to call this office. If necessary, you may request an opinion on contemplated political activity from the Advisory Committee on Standards of Judicial Conduct by writing to:

The Honorable A. Camden Lewis
Chairman, Advisory Committee on Standards
of Judicial Conduct
P.O. Box 11208
Columbia, SC 29211