(As amended by the Supreme Court of Texas through January 21, 2022)
Our legal system is based on the principle that an independent, fair and competent judiciary will interpret and apply the laws that govern us. The role of the judiciary is central to American concepts of justice and the rule of law. Intrinsic to all sections of this Code of Judicial Conduct are the precepts that judges, individually and collectively, must respect and honor the judicial office as a public trust and strive to enhance and maintain confidence in our legal system.
The judge is an arbiter of facts and law for the resolution of disputes and a highly visible symbol of government under the rule of law.
The Code of Judicial Conduct is not intended as an exhaustive guide for the conduct of judges. They should also be governed in their judicial and personal conduct by general ethical standards. The Code is intended, however, to state basic standards which should govern the conduct of all judges and to provide guidance to assist judges in establishing and maintaining high standards of judicial and personal conduct.
Canon 1: Upholding the Integrity and Independence of the Judiciary
An independent and honorable judiciary is indispensable to justice in our society. A judge should participate in establishing, maintaining, and enforcing high standards of conduct, and should personally observe those standards so that the integrity and independence of the judiciary is preserved. The provisions of this Code are to be construed and applied to further that objective.
Canon 2: Avoiding Impropriety and the Appearance of Impropriety in All of the Judge’s Activities
A. A judge shall comply with the law and should act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.
B. A judge shall not allow any relationship to influence judicial conduct or judgment. A judge shall not lend the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interests of the judge or others; nor shall a judge convey or permit others to convey the impression that they are in a special position to influence the judge. A judge shall not testify voluntarily as a character witness.
C. A judge shall not knowingly hold membership in any organization that practices discrimination prohibited by law.
Consistent with section 253.1612 of the Texas Election Code, the Code of Judicial Conduct does not prohibit a joint campaign activity conducted by two or more judicial candidates.
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
Canon 7: Effective Date of Compliance
Canon 8: Construction and Terminology of the Code