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Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Light The Canons

If you are concerned about the viability of federal government employee blogs (and blawgs), and in particular those of federal judicial clerks, get on over to this lengthy, thoughtful and oft-updated post from The Curmudgeonly Clerk, and click all the links. I agree with Howard and TCC that preapproval appears to be needed to comply with Canon 4 of the Code of Conduct For Judicial Employees. I also have to say that some of the rigors of the Canons seem to me a little like losing those last five pounds—great if you can do it, perhaps regrettable yet understandable if you can't. (If I had to avoid the "appearance of impropriety" every day, I'd probably never leave the house. But never leaving the house has its own appearance issues I suppose...)

TCC makes the fine point that writing is writing, and there's no reason to treat it differently because it appears on a weblog. This too captures my sentiments: "[T]he curtailment of blogging by those affiliated with the government is more likely to assure that the views of those familiar with and sympathetic to the government are absent than to achieve any other aim." (By the way TCC, that's not cursoriness, it's pith.) ;-)

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