The California Code of Judicial Ethics states that, “A candidate for judicial office shall not knowingly, or with reckless disregard for the truth, misrepresent the identity, qualifications, present position, or any other fact concerning ... his or her opponent or other applicants.”
In a recent ad, lawyer Tim Healy misrepresented the qualifications of Judge Hugh Swift, his opponent in the November 4 election. He totally ignored Judge Swift’s 13 years practicing law in San Diego County. He suggested the Judge did not have a college education; of course Judge Swift has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of San Diego, and a Juris Doctorate (JD) from California Western School of Law. He also neglected to say Judge Swift is currently a Superior Court Judge, having adjudicated thousands of cases in Calaveras County and as Court Commissioner in Amador County. Apparently, he decided voters did not really need to know these facts.
Healy’s comparison of qualifications lists his own through the present date, but Judge Swift’s only prior to becoming a judge.
Many have come to expect this kind of conduct in political campaigns. But it is antithetical to the very principles and high moral standards a judge is sworn to uphold.
Judge Swift is committed to running a clean campaign based on his own merits. He wants the whole truth about himself and his opponent to be known, and is confident that if voters know the truth, their choice will be clear. His character and moral standards are impeccable. A lawyer’s job is to paint a picture of how they would like others to see the truth. A judge’s job is to determine what the truth is. Lawyer Healy and Judge Swift are exactly where they belong.