From the DailyKos: Arkansas Judge Mike Maggio Outed for Racist, Sexist, Homophobic Posts.
What probably got the attention of other, not-so-progressive media such as the Daily News is that one target of Mike Maggio’s racist sneers was Charlize Theron. (Of course, it’s only the Daily News that would produce the headline, “Robe-A-Dope.”)
My admittedly knee-jerk response: Huh??? Followed by: how on earth do people like Maggio get put on the bench of any court anywhere in this country? Another admittedly knee-jerk response: hey, it’s the deep Red south, isn’t it?
I’m not sure I have any non-knee-jerk response to this absurdly awful story. I mean, it doesn’t grab at my deep-think faculties. So I thank DailyKos for reprinting Blue Hog Report’s rules for judicial conduct (which are pretty much the same in any jurisdiction):
Rule 1.2. A judge shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.
Official Comment : A judge should expect to be the subject of public scrutiny that might be viewed as burdensome if applied to other citizens, and must accept the restrictions imposed by the Code.
Official Comment : Actual improprieties include violations of law, court rules or provisions of this Code. The test for appearance of impropriety is whether the conduct would create in reasonable minds a perception that the judge violated this Code or engaged in other conduct that reflects adversely on the judge’s honesty, impartiality, temperament, or fitness to serve as a judge.
Rule 3.1. A judge may engage in extrajudicial activities, except as prohibited by law or this Code. However, when engaging in extrajudicial activities, a judge shall not: [*]
(C) participate in activities that would appear to a reasonable person to undermine the judge’s independence, integrity, or impartiality.
Official Comment : Discriminatory actions and expressions of bias or prejudice by a judge, even outside the judge’s official or judicial actions, are likely to appear to a reasonable person to call into question the judge’s integrity and impartiality. Examples include jokes or other remarks that demean individuals based upon their personal characteristics.
More and more (and more, indeed) it does seem that we live in two distinctly separate countries. Maybe I’ll just revise my [Un]Common Sense: Your Invitation to the Second American Revolution and get it out there.
(By the way, I call our separate, largely Blue State country New America; I leave it to that other Red-dominated country to decide on its own name — hey, I’m ever so laissez-faire — but I am certainly grabbing New America as our name, and Washington, DC as our capitol, except in New America the District will have a couple of senators, representatives … you know, the full range of electoral possibilities. Since Wyoming will undoubtedly be part of that other country, we will no longer be able to remind the world that although DC has a greater population than Wyoming, unlike Wyoming it does not have senators or an appropriate number of voting representatives.)