5 years ago this month:
- A special Alabama Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of the Judiciary suspending the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court from office without pay for the remainder of his term for entering an administrative order that directed all probate judges to follow Alabama’s marriage laws in disregard of a federal court injunction regarding same-sex marriages; demonstrating an unwillingness to follow clear law; deciding substantive legal issues while purporting to act in his administrative capacity; substituting his judgment for the judgment of the entire Court on a substantive legal issue in a case then pending in the Court; interfering with the legal process and remedies in the U.S. District Court and/or the Alabama Supreme Court; and making a public comment about a pending proceeding and then failing to disqualify from the case. Moore v Judicial Inquiry Commission 234 So.3d 458 (Alabama 2017).
- Based on the judge’s agreement, the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission publicly admonished a judge for driving while intoxicated. Letter of Admonishment of Pearson (Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission April 25, 2017).
- The California Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished a judge for violating financial reporting laws during her campaign for office. In the Matter of Flanagan, Public admonishment (California Commission on Judicial Performance April 11, 2017).
- Agreeing with an agreement for discipline, the Indiana Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a non-lawyer judge who had been convicted for battery against a public safety official and ordered that he not be eligible for future judicial service; the reprimand was conditioned on the judge tendering his resignation. In the Matter of Phillips, 72 N.E.3d 917 (Indiana 2017).
- Pursuant to a former judge’s approval and acceptance, the Kansas Commission on Judicial Qualifications found that, while running for re-election in 2016, the former judge used an out-dated statement by another judge in support of his campaign without obtaining permission and ordered him to desist from providing misleading campaign material. Inquiry Concerning Henderson, Order (Kansas Commission on Judicial Qualifications April 17, 2017).
- Based on the judge’s agreement, the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission publicly reprimanded a judge for, as a joke, holding an attorney in contempt for adding expungement cases to her docket contrary to a “no add-on” order for the day. In re Leibson, Agreed order of public reprimand (Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission April 13, 2017).
- Adopting the recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Performance, based on a stipulation of agreed facts and proposed recommendation, the Mississippi Supreme Court suspended a judge from office for 30 days without pay, fined him $1,100, and publicly reprimanded him for threatening to use a weapon on a defendant; interrogating the same defendant concerning his drug use, which had no bearing on the charge before the court; and interrogating, demeaning, and intimidating the defendant’s mother about the defendant’s drug use and her parenting skills. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Vess, 227 So.3d 952 (Mississippi 2017).
- Based on the findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendation of the Commission on Judicial Performance, the Mississippi Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge and fined him $3,000 for issuing a default judgment that differed in kind and exceeded in amount what was demanded in the complaint. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Roberts, 227 So.3d 938 (Mississippi 2017).
- Based on stipulations, the New Hampshire Judicial Conduct Committee publicly reprimanded a judge for revising a negotiated plea agreement sua sponte and refusing to allow the state to strike amendments to the complaints. In the Matter of DeVries (New Hampshire Judicial Conduct Committee April 7, 2017).