Utah Judge Suspended Six Months For Anti-Trump Comments

We recently discussed a federal judge who gave a public speech excoriating President Donald Trump. While we discussed how the comments of Judge Carlton Reeves would violate judicial ethical rules, no discipline has been brought for the comments. Indeed, Reeves is back in the news for his ruling to enjoin the Mississippi anti-abortion law. Taylorsville Justice Court Judge Michael Kwan received a six-month suspension for his anti-Trump comments last week.

Kwan was suspended for “improper use of judicial authority and his inappropriate political commentary” in a Thursday decision. The decision was published in full by the Salt Lake Tribune

The comments were primarily made on LinkedIn and a private Facebook account about Trump. For example, three days after Trump’s election, Kwan joked “Think I’ll go to the shelter to adopt a cat before the President-Elect grabs them all . . . .” — a reference to Trump’s infamous “Grab them by the p—-” remark.  He also posted a statement in February 2017 stating “welcome to the beginning of the fascist takeover” and “[W]e 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 ultimately acknowledged that the comments, while made jokingly, were violations of judicial ethics.

Notably, Kwan is unlikely to rule on matters directly linked to Trump as opposed to Reeves. One distinction is that Reeves did make a couple of comments from the bench. For example, when a defendant referenced his tax returns as a way to pay his fine, Kwan said “You do realize we have a new president and you think we are getting any money back?”

However, Kwan was suspended for comments made public and not just those from the bench. That leads to a natural question of when and why certain jurists are sanctioned while others are not for public political statements.

16 thoughts on “Utah Judge Suspended Six Months For Anti-Trump Comments”

  1. the whole country is infested with these liberal judges who should keep their mouths shut and obey and enforce our laws. he should have been disbarred and thrown off the bench.

  2. This judge was apparently appointed by the voters. So who’s to blame?

  3. A judge must be fair and impartial. He must leave his personal politics at the door.

  4. We even have one in the Supreme Court. Wonder why she hasn’t left for New Zealand yet.

  5. How “Lincolnesque!”

    I can’t wait for the seizure of power, arming of the border, suspension of Habeas Corpus and other constitutional rights, mass impeachment of all corrupt civil Officers, revocation of citizenship and vote by fraudulent, “asylum”-seeking, non-American hyphenate invaders, summary repeal of injurious and unconstitutional amendments and the re-implementation of the “manifest tenor” of the original Constitution and Bill of Rights, 1789.

    Oh Happy Days!

  6. This is trivia.

    Glenn Reynolds has offered that comprehensive immunity for judges and prosecutors was something the courts themselves invented out of whole cloth. It’s time to take it away from them, and to contrive well-lubricated means of disciplining the judiciary.

  7. As moderates struggle to regain control over the political system, aligned against extremists, self-righteous activists and a cynical, irresponsible media,
    we have to preserve trust in neutral referees. These roles in a free society are the only way to keep conflicts from boiling over into total alienation and militant anarchy.

  8. there are a lot of judges out there who should be disbarred and never allowed to practice law. especially the judges that make their own laws.

  9. “That leads to a natural question of when and why certain jurists are sanctioned while others are not for public political statements.”
    Because when you’re busy establishing a two tier justice system that strips certain Citizens of their Rights based on certain political criteria, worrying about that equal justice and ethics sh!+ just jams you up.
    It will be much easier when everything is well established and shakes down to where the law is applied only to Rightless sub-Citizens and time isn’t wasted prosecuting or applying laws to “Citizens.”

  10. I learn from following one of the articles cited onto the USA Today website that the suspension is without pay. I do think that, however gratifying I might find that loss of income to be for this unprudential and injudicious judge, that such a pertinent fact should have been stated by the author in the body of the article.

  11. Activist biased judges are worst. They try to overrule all our president’s good ideas and actions. They seem to be part of the resistance rather than rule of law. Fire them.

    1. Betteroff, I hold in the highest contempt and disregard those judges, of either conviction, bringing their own biases into what is supposed to be a ‘blind’ ruling of justice. Since judges are actually required to rule in accordance to the law, they should lose their job for violation of their canon of ethics.

  12. It’s just awful that he spoke ill of our “dear leader” without severely criticizing Hillary, Nadler, SJLee et al.

  13. the answer is all in the political. Why are some suspected of non-existent crimes and hounded for years with investigations while others are blatantly obvious is their suspected violations of laws still wandering our streets unscathed. To ask why our laws are applied willy-nilly is funny, especially in this partisan time.

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