Thursday, July 07, 2016

Rhonda Sallee's independent judicial bid undergoes challenge

Update 7/20/16: According to the Illinois State Board of Elections website, Ms. Sallee withdrew her candidacy on July 18. Daryl Jones is again unopposed in his bid for the Williams vacancy in the 5th Subcircuit.

It will probably not come as a surprise but, for the record, a challenge has been filed to the petitions recently filed by Rhonda Sallee, seeking to run as an independent candidate for the Williams vacancy in the 5th Judicial Subcircuit.

If Ms. Sallee survives the coming challenge, her opponent in November would be Democratic nominee Daryl Jones.

An initial hearing has been scheduled on the objectors' petition for the afternoon of July 12.


Anonymous said...

Preckwinkle is behind Daryl Jones so she will take out her machete and start hacking away.

Anonymous said...

Black lady who reads is asking: Did the candidate get chopped up by the machete wielding Preckwinkle or did she just run away to avoid wasting her money?

Anonymous said...

Hello Jack,

Last night while watching the DNC Convention on TV I spotted Toni Preckwinkle sitting next to Bill Clinton. Even if she was not sitting next to a former president, she is hard to miss. I also saw State Sen. Iris Martinez who I know is an Illinois Delegate. And next to her, to my astonishment, I believe I saw the Hon. John Lyke with the Illinois delegation. He was clapping wildly for Elizabeth Warren. Under the Code of Judicial Conduct is it not unethical for sitting Judges to participate in political events?

Jack Leyhane said...

Although unopposed on the November ballot, Judge Lyke is a candidate for judicial office. As such, he is subject to Canon 7 of the Code of Judicial Ethics, Supreme Court Rule 67.

In my opinion, Rule 67 did not require Judge Lyke to stay home.

Rule 67(A)(1) provides:

A. All Judges and Candidates.

(1) Except as authorized in subsections B(1)(b) and B(3), a judge or a candidate for election to judicial office shall not:

(a) act as a leader or hold an office in a political organization;

(b) publicly endorse or publicly oppose another candidate for public office;

(c) make speeches on behalf of a political organization;

(d) solicit funds for, or pay an assessment to a political organization or candidate.

But 67(B)(3) allows a judicial candidate's name to be listed on election materials along with the names of other candidates and to "appear in promotions of the ticket" (presumably meaning both the official dominant Party ticket in any county as well as an insurgent coalition).

More to the point, Rule 67(b)(1)(B) provides:

B. Authorized Activities for Judges and Candidates.

(1) A judge or candidate may, except as prohibited by law:

* * *

(b) when a candidate for public election

(i) speak to gatherings on his or her own behalf;

(ii) appear in newspaper, television and other media advertisements supporting his or her candidacy;

(iii) distribute pamphlets and other promotional campaign literature supporting his or her candidacy; and

(iv) publicly endorse or publicly oppose other candidates in a public election in which the judge or judicial candidate is running.

Now, I would think a judge or judicial candidate invited to sit with the Illinois delegation at a national political convention should be able to go without having to worry about running afoul of Rule 67, even if he or she got swept up in the moment and cheered and applauded a candidate or speaker. But, if I'm wrong, and regular readers will know that happens far too often for my comfort, I'm pretty sure Rule 67 provides more than adequate cover.

What say you, gentle readers?

Anonymous said...

I agree with something I once read here that judicial candidates must give serious consideration to their actions. Just because a candidate is allowed to do something, that does not mean they should. Judges, for obvious reasons, need to stay well above politics. If Judge Lyke was running in a national election his appearance at the DNC might be understandable. I believe an uncontested judicial candidate (and a sitting judge) running before an electorate limited to just one county in a state crosses an ethical line appearing at a national political function showing support to that party.

Could Judge Lyke appear at a Democratic Party event in Indiana to support the ticket without running afoul of the Judicial Cannons? Apparently he could. The real question, however, is SHOULD he? Participating in any political activity outside of the electorate in which one is running, I believe, is unnecessary and unethical. It shows bad judgement and soils the office of judge.

Anonymous said...

Nothing in the Code of Judicial Ethics prescribes that Judges or judicial candidates steer clear of certain establishments such as Gentleman's Clubs or Message Parlors either. But I think the smart ones do. Come to think of it - I just realized the silver lining to all of the many times I applied for a judicial appointment or Associate Judge and was summarily rejected.

Anonymous said...

Oh boy. Black lady who reads is shaking her naturally curly hair again. But it's fun.All this yikity yak over a judge going to a Dem convention doesn't seem like it's soiling the office. Not based on what I am reading here from Jack's research. Soiling the office? Well, what about jumping through hoops in the justice's application process only to have someone "anointed" while the rest only wasted their time? Hmmm. Well, what about Patrick Murphy's emails? Hmmm. Well, what about the never ending merit selection, aka, too many black judges in Cook County so let's find a way to stop it. This black lady, who votes too by the way, thinks everyone can have an opinion but don't get caught up in the little things.

Jack Leyhane said...

Anon is getting a little hyperbolic, I think.

I assume Anon does not mean to compare a national political convention to a strip club or massage parlor -- by the way, there was a great Rumpole episode many years ago in which Mr. Justice Guthrie Featherstone (Peter Bowles) patronized a massage parlor -- for a massage mind you, nothing at all untoward -- and paid with his credit card -- just prior to a police crackdown on massage parlors offering, um, additional services -- comedy and a sort of rough justice begins to emerge from the learned judge's discomfort until -- but I digress. On purpose. We need to cool out here a little.

Without getting political (because, as you all know, I'm no politician), national political conventions are events -- people from all over the world converge on national political conventions to see the American political process on full and florid display -- and if one can get a relatively close to front row seat on such an event (the Illinois delegation had seats quite near the stage) why not go? Maybe it would have been "better" to sit in the galleries. But I don't think anybody soiled their office by attending, even if they may have applauded this speaker or that one.

Moreover, if Sneed's Sunday column can be believed, I'm quite sure Judge Lyke was not the only judge in attendance.