Cannon 3.B. (9) A judge shall not, while a proceeding is pending or impending in any court, make any public comment that might reasonably be expected to affect its outcome or impair its fairness or make any nonpublic comment that might substantially interfere with a fair trial or hearing. The judge shall require similar abstention on the part of court personnel subject to the judge’s direction and control. This Section does not prohibit judges from making public statements in the course of their official duties or from explaining for public information the procedures of the court. This Section does not apply to proceedings in which the judge is a litigant in a personal capacity.
Did Judge Nina DiPietro just violate Judicial Cannon 3B(9) by “liking” an article about a case pending before the court, as well as a statement of support for “fighting corruption by supporting” her husband? I’m sure we will find out soon…
Here’s two court cases nobody’s really heard of, but we probably will soon:
Bass v. Askew
State ex rel. Hardie v. Coleman.
What do these cases say? Basically that all this back and forth and hand wringing by the Sun-Sentinel and others is irrelevant.
“The correct standard for reviewing a suspension order is whether it contains allegations that bear some reasonable relation to the charge. If it does, it should be adjudged sufficient. State ex rel. Hardie v. Coleman, 115 Fla. 119, 155 So. 129 (1934)…A suspension order is sufficient if it states one or more constitutional grounds and supports the statement with alleged facts sufficient to constitute grounds of suspension. State ex rel. Hardie v. Coleman, supra.”
It goes on to explain that “an executive suspension order has a twofold purpose:
(1) “It protects the people by providing a method of immediate suspension of an errant public official, and
(2) it protects the suspended official by informing him of the constitutional grounds of suspension so that he may prepare his defenses for presentation to the senate. As long as a suspended official is provided with adequate notice and a reasonable time within which to prepare his defenses, the Governor has the right to amend a suspension order.”
The Bass v. Askew case seems to suggest that the Governor has broad latitude to determine how much interference constitutes “malfeasance.” You read and decide. I would hope David’s lawyers do.