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Justice Mary Yu admonished over pro-charity Facebook post

December 7, 2018

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu has received an admonishment over Facebook posts in which she promoted two charities: the newspaper Real Change and Lifelong, which supports HIV patients.

The Commission on Judicial Conduct approved the admonishment Friday after Yu agreed to it. It’s the lowest level of sanction for a judge in the state.

The commission said judges have an obligation not to use their office to advance their own personal or economic interests, or those of others. Yu identified herself as a justice on her Facebook page, and used the page to urge people to support Lifelong’s “Dining Out For Life” event and to encourage them to buy Real Change, which employs and advocates for low-income and homeless people.

Judges are allowed to participate in charitable organizations, but they may only solicit money from their own family or from other judges they don’t supervise. Yu told the commission she didn’t believe her posts rose to the level of a solicitation, but she accepted its findings and suggested there should be more guidance for judges about what is appropriate on social media.

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