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July 14, 2016

Statement of Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Gaetan J. Alfano on Recent Comments on Presidential Election

In light of the recent comments made by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Chancellor Gaetan J. Alfano issued the following statement on behalf of the 12,000-member Philadelphia Bar Association:

"Justice Ginsburg has an absolute right to her opinion on presidential politics. Codes of judicial conduct across the country, however, generally prohibit judges from publicly endorsing or opposing a candidate. Although the Code of Conduct for United States Judges does not apply to Supreme Court justices, the rationale for the prohibition is well understood. Partisan statements can undermine the public's confidence that a judge will decide cases on their merits as opposed to political considerations. To protect the rule of law, partisan statements by judges should be avoided."
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