October 29, 2020
Digest: The Committee does not answer hypothetical or speculative questions.
Rules: Judiciary Law § 212(2)(l); Opinions 17-37; 12-119.
The inquiring judge asks if Opinion 20-143 would allow police officers or members of the public to distribute, in or adjacent to the courtroom, documents such as a political or religious tract, a flyer criticizing the judge, an advertising flyer, or “some otherwise permissible written expressions of free speech.” We understand the judge is presenting purely hypothetical scenarios and has not encountered any such requests.
The Committee answers questions from judges about their own conduct. It does not answer hypothetical or speculative questions (see e.g. Opinions 17-37; 12-119; Judiciary Law § 212[l]). Because this inquiry solely presents hypothetical questions, the Committee declines to respond.