A judge in the state of Utah has juts received a stiff punishment after bashing President Trump online.
“Every time a judicial officer engages in misconduct, he or she spends the good will of the judiciary as a whole. Here, we readily conclude that Judge Kwan has been spending our good will,” the court said.
Judge Kwan isn’t the first judge to be accused of violating the axiom that the judiciary should be separated from politics. A federal judge in San Antonio was suspended in 2016 from conducting naturalization ceremonies after telling new United States citizens that they should “go to another country” if they did not like Mr. Trump’s presidency, The San Antonio Express-News reported.
Mr. Trump had also publicly lodged his own complaints about judges’ partisanship, particularly those who had ruled against his administration.
In explaining Judge Kwan’s suspension, the Utah Supreme Court described a January 2017 exchange between the judge and an unidentified individual in his courtroom who was proposing that they paid court fines with money from their tax return.
“You do realize that we have a new president, and you think we are getting any money back?” Judge Kwan asked.
“I hope,” the person said.
“You hope?” Judge Kwan said.
“I pray and I cross my fingers,” the person replied.
“Prayer might be the answer,” Judge Kwan said, “‘cause, he just signed an order to start building the wall and he has no money to do that, and so if you think you are going to get taxes back this year, uh-yeah, maybe, maybe not. But don’t worry, there is a tax cut for the wealthy so if you make over $500,000 you’re getting a tax cut.”
The Utah Supreme Court also outlined “blunt, and sometimes indelicate, criticism” that Judge Kwan posted on his LinkedIn profile and private Facebook page in 2016 and 2017.