Supreme Court Removes Portion of Judicial Conduct Rule
The Ohio Supreme Court deleted a portion of the judicial conduct rule on campaign standards and communications based on a ruling in a case from September.
Rule 4.3 of the Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct covers what a judicial candidate cannot claim in campaign materials. Specifically, part (A) of the rule currently reads: “Post, publish, broadcast, transmit, circulate, or distribute information concerning the judicial candidate or an opponent, either knowing the information to be false or with a reckless disregard of whether or not it was false or, if true, that would be deceiving or misleading to a reasonable person.”
The court found the latter portion of section (A) to be an unconstitutional restriction on free speech and in violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution in In re Judicial Campaign Complaint Against O’Toole on Sept. 24.
The phrase following the second reference to the word “false” has been eliminated (“or, if true, that would be deceiving or misleading to a reasonable person”).
The amended rule has an effective date retroactive to the court’s decision in the case.
Access the updated text of Jud.Cond.R. 4.3(A).
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