Canon 4 of the Code of Conduct of United States Judges permits “(A) Law-related Activities.
(1) Speaking, Writing, and Teaching. A judge may speak, write, lecture, teach, and participate in other activities concerning the law, the legal system, and the administration of justice.”
Judge Rakoff has strongly questioned the failure of the SEC and the Justice Department to prosecute leaders of the financial institutions whose improper practices spawned the financial crisis nearly five years ago. Judges rarely speak so bluntly. Even Judge Richard Posner has not so directly criticized a policy decision by the federal government.
Should judges do more of this kind of thing? Or does it bring judges so close to expressing on opinion on matters that “may come before” them that discretion is the better part of valor? – gwc