Campaigns should be run, and your Courts operated according to a Code of Fair Campaign Practices and a Code of Judicial Conduct. Below is a summary of those two codes for your information:
Code of Fair Campaign Practices:
There are basic principles of decency, honesty, and fair play that every candidate and political committee in this state has a moral obligation to observe and uphold, in order that, after vigorously contested but fairly conducted campaigns, our citizens may exercise their constitutional rights to a free and untrammeled choice and the will of the people may be fully and clearly expressed on the issues.
(1) I will conduct the campaign openly and publicly and limit attacks on my opponent to legitimate challenges to my opponent's record and stated positions on issues.
(2) I will not use or permit the use of character defamation, whispering campaigns, libel, slander, or scurrilous attacks on any candidate or the candidate's personal or family life.
(3) I will not use or permit any appeal to negative prejudice based on race, sex, religion, or national origin.
(4) I will not use campaign material of any sort that misrepresents, distorts, or otherwise falsifies the facts, nor will I use malicious or unfounded accusations that aim at creating or exploiting doubts, without justification, as to the personal integrity or patriotism of my opponent.
(5) I will not undertake or condone any dishonest or unethical practice that tends to corrupt or undermine our system of free elections or that hampers or prevents the full and free expression of the will of the voters, including any activity aimed at intimidating voters or discouraging them from voting.
(6) I will defend and uphold the right of every qualified voter to full and equal participation in the electoral process, and will not engage in any activity aimed at intimidating voters or discouraging them from voting.
(7) I will immediately and publicly repudiate methods and tactics that may come from others that I have pledged not to use or condone. I shall take firm action against any subordinate who violates any provision of this code or the laws governing elections.
I, the undersigned, candidate for election to public office in the State of Texas or campaign treasurer of a political committee, hereby voluntarily endorse, subscribe to, and solemnly pledge myself to conduct the campaign in accordance with the above principles and practices.
This is a summary of the Code of Judicial Conduct
The Code of Judicial Conduct is intended to establish basic standards for ethical conduct of judges. It consists of specific rules set forth in Sections under broad captions called Canons. (There are 8 of them and this paragraph is Canon 8.) The Sections are rules of reason, which should be applied consistent with constitutional requirements, statutes, other court rules and decisional law and in the context of all relevant circumstances. The Code is to be construed so as not to impinge on the essential independence of judges in making judicial decisions. The Code is designed to provide guidance to judges and candidates for judicial office. Below is a summary of the Canons…(they are pretty much self-explanatory).
Canon 1: Upholding the Integrity and Independence of the Judiciary
Canon 2: Avoiding Impropriety and the Appearance of Impropriety in all of the Judge’s activities
Canon 3: Performing the Duties of Judicial Office Impartially and Diligently
Canon 4: Conducting the Judge's Extra-Judicial Activities to Minimize the Risk of Conflict with Judicial Obligations
Canon 5: Refraining from Inappropriate Political Activity
Canon 6: Compliance with the Code of Judicial Conduct….(which does include JP’s and Candidates for office)…Justices of the Peace and Municipal Court Judges. A justice of the peace or municipal court judge shall comply with all provisions of this Code, except the judge is not required to comply with some of the parts pertaining to ex parte communications. (Some of the job duties of a JP require ex parte communications.)
Canon 7: Is the Effective Date of Compliance