Hmmm. You tell me.

On the one hand, we have Honorable James Nelson, Justice of the Montana Supreme Court. He recently appeared at a pro-choice rally with Democrat Senate candidate, John Tester. At the rally, he made a number of criticisms, clearly directed at President Bush's Republican administration, including references to the Justice Departments subpoenas of internet search records and the phony wiretap scandal.

"Nelson said the government has spent trillions of dollars on so-called wars such as efforts against illegal drugs and illegal immigration, and on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of that money might be better spent fighting such problems as poverty, unemployment and poor daycare options for working Americans, he suggested."

On the other hand, we have the Montana Canons of Judicial Ethics. For example, we have Canon 5, Essential Conduct: "A judge should be...impartial..."

Or, perhaps one might consider Canon 28, Partisan Politics: "While entitled to entertain his personal views of political questions, and while not required to surrender his rights or opinions as a citizen, it is inevitable that suspicion of being warped by political bias will attach to a judge who becomes the active promotor of the interests of one political party as against another. He should avoid making political speeches, making or soliciting payments of assessments or contributions to party funds, the public endorsement of candidates for political office and participation in party conventions."

And, finally, to give you an idea just how high the standard is, one should consider Canon 4, Appearance of Impropriety: "A judge's official conduct should be free from impropriety and the appearance of impropriety..."

You tell me. What do you think?


deepmoat said...

Interesting, isn't it, that this has gotten so little press attention? One suspects that the Montana media and Democratic officials would be going beserk if a Supreme Court judge spoke at a pro-life rally and demanded a ban on abortion.....

melodiious said...

A judge should be able to state his opinions, especially when he is in a position to comment because he sees the problems as they filter up to him. Maybe he attributes some of the conflicts he has to arbiter to the woes of our society. I like Nelson, he is a good judge, thoughtful, and intellectual. The comment by deepmoat is interesting, and likely true. I am not a fan of Mr. Alito for example, but it isn't going to matter what I think or that I don't agree with him, he is most likely to be confirmed, in spite of the hue and cry from the Dems.