About The Judicial Campaign Ethics Center
Welcome! The Judicial Campaign Ethics Center (JCEC) is part of the New York State Unified Court System’s Office of Administration. The JCEC responds to inquiries from judicial candidates regarding their own campaign conduct; educates judicial candidates about how to conduct their campaigns to comply with the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct; and informs the public about judicial campaigns.
Our core mission is to provide fast and reliable responses to ethics questions from judicial candidates about their own proposed campaign conduct. We work closely with the Judicial Campaign Ethics Subcommittee, which consists of five judges of the full Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics who are on-call to respond to judicial candidates' ethics questions on an expedited basis. If a candidate writes in for guidance from the Subcommittee, and complies with the written advice he/she receives, his/her conduct will be presumed proper during the candidate's “window period,” for the purposes of any subsequent investigation by the Commission on Judicial Conduct.
The JCEC fields a wide variety of campaign-related ethics questions from judicial candidates. For example, candidates have sought guidance about when and how they are considered "candidates" under the Rules; whether a proposed campaign advertisement or slogan is permissible; and whether certain fund-raising activities are permissible. Although many questions may be answered in the text of the Rules or in published Opinions (many of which are summarized in the Campaign Ethics Handbook), no question is too basic.
Please note that the Subcommittee's opinions are not published, because only the inquiring candidate is entitled to rely on them, and only during his or her current campaign cycle. However, opinions of the full Advisory Committee are published and searchable on-line.