1996-24: Judge accepting a Presidential appointment to the United States Institute of Peace.

Opinion No. 96-24
November 18, 1996

TOPIC: Judge accepting a Presidential appointment to the United States Institute of Peace.

DIGEST: A judge may serve as a member of the USIP which is an independent, Federal institution created and funded by Congress to develop and disseminate knowledge about international peace and conflict resolution.

REFERENCES: Illinois Supreme Court Rule 64C of the Code of Judicial Conduct, Canon 4 (145 Ill.2d R. 64); Illinois Supreme Court Rules 66A and 66B of the Code of Judicial Conduct, Canon 6 (145 Ill.2d R. 66).

FACTS
A judge has been offered an appointment to the USIP. The Institute meets six times a year for which a small honorarium and travel expenses to Washington, D.C. are provided to the individual members. The Institute's primary activities are grant making, fellowships, in-house research projects, public education and outreach activities, publications and library services.

QUESTION
May a judge accept an appointment to and serve as a member of the USIP?

OPINION
Yes, the participation in an organization which is devoted to the development and dissemination of knowledge related to international peace and conflict resolution comes under the imprimatur of Illinois Supreme Court Rule 64C. This governmental organization will not affect the impartiality of the judge's office, nor can the Institute be expected to be involved in litigation. Further, attendance at six one-day sessions in the course of a year does not conflict with the judge's judicial duties, nor do the honorarium and reimbursed expenses exceed what other members receive or permitted by Supreme Court Rules 66A and 66B.