There are some people that you can work with or know for years and never know what their political feelings are. That’s a good thing, because everything doesn’t have not devolve into some discussion bout politics.
For example, my mother worked in a small county building for a number of years and every once in a while there would be a group lunch or get-together. There would be judges, sheriffs and other officials along with my mom that would go out to eat at some small restaurant.
They would be talking and going on for an hour and not once would you be able to tell how that person would decide to vote or think politically. It used to be that there was some stuff that elected officials knew not to say.
If there’s any position in the United States that requires one to be politically neutral and not use his or her office to disparage a political figure on either side of the aisle, it’s that of a sitting judge.
But one Utah judge — who has held the position for more than 20 years — must not have understood that rule, as he faces a six-month suspension after criticizing President Donald Trump both online and in his courtroom.
According to Fox News, Michael Kwan — a Taylorsville, Utah, justice court judge since 1998 — found out the hard way that his repeated anti-Trump diatribe is not allowed. The Utah State Supreme Court handed down a six-month suspension without pay after Kwan publicly slammed Trump on Facebook and in his courtroom between 2016-2017.
Justice John Pearce, who sits on the state’s High Court, wrote in his opinion that Kwan diminished “the reputation of our entire judiciary.”
But he didn’t stop there.
“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,” Pearce wrote.
Kwan, who keeps his political preference private — which is a benefit afforded by state law — has a history of making inappropriate remarks about politicians from both sides of the aisle.
The investigation into his anti-Trump remarks, according to KTSU, was opened in 2017 after Kwan’s comments to a defendant included a bizarre anti-Trump rant — one that probably had everyone in the courtroom scratching their heads.
After a defendant in a case over which Kwan presided told the judge that he would use his tax refund to pay the court fees, Kwan went off the rails with a line that sounds like it was straight out of a Democratic talking-point pamphlet.