The Louisiana Judicial Campaign Oversight Committee consists of 15 members appointed by the Supreme Court of Louisiana. The Oversight Committee is to:
Serve as a resource for judges and judicial candidates;
The Oversight Committee is authorized to review and investigate complaints which allege a violation of the following thirteen provisions of Canon 7 of the Louisiana Code of Judicial Conduct:
(1) The judge or judicial candidate acted as a leader or held any office in a political organization (Canon 7A(1));
(2) The judge or judicial candidate publicly endorsed or publicly opposed another candidate for public office (Canon 7A(2));
(3) The judge or judicial candidate made speeches on behalf of a political organization or a candidate for public office (Canon 7A(3));
(4) The judge or judicial candidate solicited funds for, paid an assessment to, or made a contribution to another candidate for public office (Canon 7A(4));
(5) The judge or judicial candidate solicited funds for a political organization (Canon 7A(4));
(6) The judge or judicial candidate, in connection with cases, controversies, or issues that are likely to come before the Court, made commitments that are inconsistent with the impartial performance of the adjudicative duties of judicial office. (Canon 7A(11));
(7) The judge or judicial candidate knowingly made, or caused to be made, a false statement concerning the identity, qualifications, present position or other fact concerning the candidate or an opponent. (Canon 7A(9));
(8) The judge or judicial candidate personally solicited or personally accepted campaign contributions in violation of Canon 7A(6) of the Louisiana Code of Judicial Conduct;
(9) The judge or judicial candidate authorized or knowingly permitted any person to do for the judge or judicial candidate what the judge or judicial candidate is prohibited from doing concerning the Canons which fall within the Committee’s oversight jurisdiction (Canon 7B(4));
(10) The judge or judicial candidate, while a matter is pending in any Louisiana state court, made any statement that would reasonably be expected to affect the outcome of the matter or impair its fairness. (Canon 7A(10)).
(11) The judge or judicial candidate used court staff, facilities, or other court resources in a campaign for judicial office, except to the extent that such use was de minimis in nature (Canon 7A(8));
(12) The judge or judicial candidate did not review and approve the content of all political advertisements produced by the judge or judicial candidate or his or her campaign committee, as authorized by Canon 7D, before their dissemination (Canon 7B(2)); or(13) The judge or judicial candidate did not take reasonable measures to ensure that other persons not undertake, on behalf of the judge or judicial candidate, any activities which are prohibited under the Canons which fall within the Committee’s oversight jurisdiction (Canon 7B(3))
A complaint form has been prepared to help facilitate the filing of campaign conduct complaints. The complaint form can be downloaded from the Supreme Court’s website (www.lasc.org)or by contacting the Office of the Judicial Administrator, Supreme Court of Louisiana.
If eight members of the Oversight Committee decide clear and convincing evidence exists of a violation of one of these ten provisions, the Committee is authorized to issue a public statement concerning the campaign conduct. The Oversight Committee has no enforcement or disciplinary power. Also, until such time as the Oversight Committee decides to issue a public statement or dismiss the complaint, or until the respondent candidate waives confidentiality, whichever occurs sooner, the complaint and response (if any) are confidential.
The Oversight Committee has prepared, and the Supreme Court has approved, a Campaign Conduct Acknowledgment Form. The Oversight Committee will be asking all judicial candidates to sign the Acknowledgment and return the signed document to the Oversight Committee. Judicial candidates may download the Campaign Conduct Acknowledgment from the Court’s website or procure the form from the Judicial Administrator’s Office.
As part of its role as an educational and informational resource, the Oversight Committee may schedule educational seminars for judges and judicial candidates as needed. Judges and candidates seeking informal advice and consultation concerning judicial campaign conduct, or persons who wish to file a formal complaint concerning campaign conduct allegedly violative of the thirteen listed provisions, should direct their inquiry to Oversight Committee Staff Attorney Caitlin Morgenstern at the following address:
Louisiana Judicial Campaign Oversight Committee
400 Royal Street, Suite 1190
New Orleans, LA 70130-8101
Attention: Caitlin Morgenstern
Phone: (504) 310-2550
FAX: (504) 310-2587