WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A candidate vying to be a Circuit Court judge in Palm Beach County secured the endorsement of an anti-abortion group after signing a pledge to support their issues.
Peggy Rowe-Linn, 58, of West Palm Beach, is one of three candidates in the race for judge.
And she’s the only judicial candidate in the state to receive an endorsement from a political action committee called Personhood Florida ProLife PAC.
The pledge and subsequent endorsement raises concerns for a local political science professor.
“It raises legitimate concerns about whether the candidate can act impartially when it comes to courtroom issues related to abortion,” wrote FAU Professor Kevin Wagner in an email to WPTV.
Wagner also says the pledge may be in violation of judicial canons, which prohibit judicial candidates from making pledges, promises, or commitments concerning issues that may come before them in the courts.
“If she wins, I suspect any litigant with a case where this comes up will seek to have her removed from the case on the grounds that she is not impartial,” said Wagner. “While judges and judicial candidates are entitled to their opinions, they should not take actions that make it seem like they have already decided an issue before a case is brought.”
Only the Judicial Qualifications Commission, a statewide body that oversees judicial races, can determine if she is in violation.
It’s unclear whether the Judicial Qualification Committee has received any complaints about her pledge. A spokesperson for the commission said they cannot disclose whether they have received any complaints.
Rowe-Linn didn't immediately return calls made to her West Palm Beach law office.
Rowe-Linn, who received her J.D. from Nova Southeastern University in 1984, runs a family law firm in West Palm Beach. She is facing Maxine Cheesman and Jamie Goodman in a race to become a judge for the 15th Circuit Court in Palm Beach County.