A longtime Utah judge has been suspended without pay for six months for a series of anti-Trump comments, both in court and online.
Three days after President Trump’s victory, Judge Michael Kwan posted on his Facebook wall, “Think I’ll go to the shelter to adopt a cat before the President-Elect grabs them all,” a reference to the Access Hollywood tape in which Trump mused about grabbing women “by the pussy.”
On Inauguration day, Kwan posted, “Welcome to governing. Will you dig your heels in and spend the next four years undermining our country’s reputation and standing in the world? Will you continue to demonstrate your inability to govern and political incompetence?”
The following month, Kwan wrote “Welcome to the beginning of the fascist takeover. We need to be diligent in questioning Congressional Republicans if they are going to be the American Reichstrag and refuse to stand up for the Constitution.”
Kwan has also made several sarcastic comments about President Trump publicly, in his courtroom.
Utah Supreme Court Justice John Pierce said Kwan’s conduct “diminished the reputation of our entire judiciary.”
Judge Kwan appealed his unpaid six month suspension to the Utah Supreme Court.
The Court wrote “Suspension without pay is a particularly significant penalty that carries substantial consequences. But given the record before us, it is the appropriate penalty. And six months is an appropriate term. A lesser period would fail to adequately address the degree to which Judge Kwan has varied from our judicial code, the repeat nature of Judge Kwan’s conduct, his disregard of the specific guidance and former discipline he has received, and the importance of the principles his conduct has trampled.”
Judge Kwan’s attorney, Greg Skordas, said “We never argued that the Judge should not be sanctioned but we felt and argued that a six month suspension was too severe. The Supreme Court obviously felt otherwise. We will honor that decision and abide by it.”
Skordas noted that Kwan has been reprimanded previously during his career for additional inappropriate political comments.