Justices revised conduct rules before implementing

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A provision the Tennessee Supreme Court initially included in an overhaul of conduct rules for state judges was changed before the code took effect.

The Tennessean reported judges are allowed to make political contributions because of the change. The majority of the conduct rules remain intact.

A spokeswoman for the Administrative Office of the Courts said the justices received three letters after they circulated the proposed changes, complaining that not allowing contributions by judges abridged their free speech rights. The justices treated the letters as a petition and asked for comment, eventually deleting the provision barring political contributions before the changes took effect July 1.

There is a new requirement that judges take "appropriate action" if they see another court officer affected by drugs, alcohol or any other impairment.

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