by Sheri Urban
A Utah judge was suspended without pay for making anti-Trump remarks in court and on Facebook.
The Supreme Court in Utah suspended Taylorsville Justice Court Judge Michael Kwan for six months for undermining public confidence over a series of anti-Trump comments he made both in court and on social media.
“Welcome to the beginning of the fascist takeover,” Kwan wrote on Facebook referring to Trump’s presidency. “We 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.”
Kwan also made comments about the “Access Hollywood” tape where Trump made lewd comments about groupies and gold diggers. “Think I’ll go to the shelter to adopt a cat before the President-Elect grabs them all,” Kwan wrote on Facebook referring to the “Access Hollywood” tape.
On another occasion, Kwan blasted a defendant who said he would pay off hefty court fines with his tax rebate, saying Trump’s tax cuts are only for the very wealthy.
Kwan is the son of Chinese immigrants who fled persecution and he feels his anti-Trump comments were more about policies rather than candidates.
But the Utah Supreme Court felt differently and suspended him without pay.
“Judge Kwan’s behavior denigrates his reputation as an impartial, independent, dignified, and courteous jurist who takes no advantage of the office in which he serves,” said the ruling, authored by Utah Supreme Court Justice John A. Pearce. “And it diminishes the reputation of our entire judiciary.”
“Fulfillment of judicial duties does not come without personal sacrifice of some opportunities and privileges available to the public at large,” the opinion said. “And as a person the public entrusts to decide issues with the utmost fairness, independence, and impartiality, a judge must at times set aside the power of his or her voice.”
The city is expected hire Kwan back after his six month suspension is over.
Kwan will likely return to the bench once his suspension is over, Taylorsville spokeswoman Kim Horiuchi told CNN.
Kwan was also previously sanctioned for inappropriate political commentary and excessive fines, so why are they allowing him to come back and preside over a court?