Utah judge suspended without pay for being critical of Trump

Avatar image for nintendoboy16
#1 Posted by nintendoboy16 (36465 posts) -

The Hill

A Utah judge was suspended from the bench for six months without pay after he made comments critical of President Trump both in his court and online.

Utah's Supreme Court suspended justice court judge Michael Kwan for what it determined was "improper use of judicial authority and his inappropriate political commentary" in a Thursday decision that was published in full by the Salt Lake Tribune.

The court said Kwan posted multiple times on his LinkedIn and private Facebook account about Trump. Three days after the president was elected, for example, he wrote "Think I’ll go to the shelter to adopt a cat before the President-Elect grabs them all . . . ." according to the court filing. He appears to have been referring to Trump's infamous ‘Grab them by the p----' remark from 2005 that surfaced ahead of the election.

In February 2017, Kwan posted “welcome to the beginning of the fascist takeover,” adding "[W]e need to . . . be diligent in questioning Congressional Republicans if they are going to be the American Reichstag and refuse to stand up for the Constitution, refuse to uphold their oath of office and enable the tyrants to consolidate their power,” referencing the Nazi German government, the court decision said.

The decision also said that a defendant told Kwan of a plan to use tax returns to pay fines, to which the judge responded "You do realize we have a new president and you think we are getting any money back?"

Kwan told the state Supreme Court that his in-court statements were attempts to be funny, but admitted that they violated rules. He said in court that his internet comments, however, should be protected under the First Amendment.

We still of the conspiracy theory that it's ONLY the left that attacks the right's freedom of speech? Because this and many other incidents prove otherwise.

Avatar image for comeonman
#2 Posted by ComeOnMan (208 posts) -

Kwan told the state Supreme Court that his in-court statements were attempts to be funny, but admitted that they violated rules.

By his own admission, he violated the rules. The authority having jurisdiction is punishing him for that admitted violation. What is the problem here?

Avatar image for nintendoboy16
#3 Posted by nintendoboy16 (36465 posts) -
@comeonman said:

Kwan told the state Supreme Court that his in-court statements were attempts to be funny, but admitted that they violated rules.

By his own admission, he violated the rules. The authority having jurisdiction is punishing him for that admitted violation. What is the problem here?

There is also this...

He said in court that his internet comments, however, should be protected under the First Amendment.

So... yeah, they still used his Facebook as grounds to suspend him.

Avatar image for comeonman
#4 Posted by ComeOnMan (208 posts) -

@nintendoboy16 said:
@comeonman said:

Kwan told the state Supreme Court that his in-court statements were attempts to be funny, but admitted that they violated rules.

By his own admission, he violated the rules. The authority having jurisdiction is punishing him for that admitted violation. What is the problem here?

There is also this...

He said in court that his internet comments, however, should be protected under the First Amendment.

So... yeah, they still used his Facebook as grounds to suspend him.

Maybe if he'd kept his personal hatred for Trump out of his courtroom, and just done his job, he wouldn't be getting reprimanded.

If you can't maintain your discipline while on the job, you have to expect that your boss may conclude that your inability to exert the proper self control on your behavior may creep in to your decisions/rulings.

Like any freedom, your first amendment right to free speech comes with certain responsibilities. If you're a Trump hater, and you want to spew your hatred when you're off the clock, you need to be diligent about keeping your personal BS out of your job.

Avatar image for tenaka2
#5 Posted by tenaka2 (17197 posts) -

Trump is an utter *&^# but it is ok for me to say it. The judge should have known better. Let him have his six months off.

Avatar image for Stevo_the_gamer
#6 Posted by Stevo_the_gamer (45216 posts) -

There's a conspiracy afoot when the defendant (irony) admits guilt?

Avatar image for Shewgenja
#7 Posted by Shewgenja (21456 posts) -

Please engage in right wing KorrectThink. Orange man good.

Avatar image for joshrmeyer
#8 Posted by JoshRMeyer (10468 posts) -

Back fire thread. Judge was stupid. Got what he deserved.

Avatar image for whiskeystrike
#9 Posted by whiskeystrike (12185 posts) -

The courtroom is supposed to be void of personal politics.

He got what he deserved.

Avatar image for Serraph105
#10 Edited by Serraph105 (33959 posts) -

@nintendoboy16 said:The Hill

We still of the conspiracy theory that it's ONLY the left that attacks the right's freedom of speech? Because this and many other incidents prove otherwise.

Your mistake is believing that the "both sides" argument is used in good faith by republicans. Both sides is used as a defense of one's own unmistakable bullshit. Sure someone on your side is doing something bad, but if you can then establish that democrats are just as bad it takes the heat off of you for supporting them regardless. If democrats do something bad though you can be damn sure that republicans aren't arguing both sides are equally bad. No, that argument sorta just dissipates when they feel they can hurt democrats.

Pointing out republican hypocrisy doesn't actually do any harm to them or their agenda, they just brush it off with the "both sides are equally bad" argument and continue to support actions that actually do harm the agenda of democrats by whatever means necessary.

Avatar image for LJS9502_basic
#11 Posted by LJS9502_basic (166850 posts) -

@joshrmeyer said:

Back fire thread. Judge was stupid. Got what he deserved.

I'm not going to applaud the government for silencing critics. Amendment and all that.........must be inconvenient to republicans.

Avatar image for joebones5000
#12 Posted by joebones5000 (2617 posts) -

So Utah suspended a judge who has common sense. lol. Backwards red state.

Avatar image for MirkoS77
#13 Posted by MirkoS77 (14354 posts) -

@comeonman: does that apply to Trump with the responsibilities he holds?

Avatar image for comeonman
#14 Posted by ComeOnMan (208 posts) -

@MirkoS77 said:

@comeonman: does that apply to Trump with the responsibilities he holds?

Of course it does. Trump will face the collective judgement of his "boss" in November 2020.

Avatar image for mrbojangles25
#15 Posted by mrbojangles25 (44095 posts) -

Sorry, and it pains me to say this, but I think that was the right call. Judges should be impartial and not express their opinions like that. You have to wonder if someone who wore a MAGA hat to court was punished more harshly than someone who wore a Biden 2020 hat for the same crime (in theory, at least).

@comeonman said:
@MirkoS77 said:

@comeonman: does that apply to Trump with the responsibilities he holds?

Of course it does. Trump will face the collective judgement of his "boss" in November 2020.

Right, but it's also important to remember that Trump was elected to represent a certain side of the spectrum. While a great president represents all the people of their country, it is to be expected that they would also lean in one direction in the other. A judge should not show these leanings.

Avatar image for n64dd
#16 Posted by N64DD (11968 posts) -

Major thread backfire. This is why you don't blindly post things without reading what you post.

Avatar image for Solaryellow
#17 Posted by Solaryellow (5085 posts) -

People still don't learn the possible harm of expressing opinion(s) on social media.

Avatar image for comp_atkins
#18 Posted by comp_atkins (35796 posts) -

a judge's job is to be impartial and not introduce personal political opinion into the courtroom. if he violated that duty there ought to be consequence.

if the action is based SOLELY on sm messages, that's much more of a grey area imo because he's entitled to his personal opinions outside of work.

Avatar image for N30F3N1X
#19 Posted by N30F3N1X (8923 posts) -

@nintendoboy16 said:

We still of the conspiracy theory that it's ONLY the left that attacks the right's freedom of speech? Because this and many other incidents prove otherwise.

The left goes out of its way to hurt and silence people on the right for differing political opinions. This guy broke actual rules of the code of conduct for a judge. Repeatedly.

"This judicial discipline proceeding requires us to decide the appropriate sanction for a judge who has engaged in repeated misconduct. Judge Michael Kwan acknowledges that he violated the Utah Code of Judicial Conduct when he made seemingly shirty and politically charged comments to a defendant in his courtroom. Judge Kwan similarly admits that he violated the code of conduct when he lost his temper with a member of the court’s staff and improperly used his judicial authority to seek that individual’s removal from the premises. Moreover, in response to questions at oral argument, Judge Kwan conceded that an online post critical of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump also violated the code of conduct."

The only thing "this" proves is you're making a mountain out of a molehill and comparing it with an actual mountain.

Avatar image for nintendoboy16
#20 Edited by nintendoboy16 (36465 posts) -

I love the "politics should stay out of courts" arguments. Because that NEVER happens before this and we never had politics infect the courts before. Hell, we have an administration that is pretty much FOR it in THEIR favor, as their Supreme Court choices show (nominating and swearing in Kavanaugh, blocking Merrick Garland).

Avatar image for horgen
#21 Posted by Horgen (120874 posts) -

Well he admitted his mistake. Something unlike his right wing counterparts I guess.