A judge in Utah this week was suspended for six months without pay because he criticized President Donald Trump in his private Facebook posts.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Utah’s high court ruled on Thursday that Judge Michael Kwan violated judicial standards by attacking the president in his Facebook posts, while also occasionally making jokes about him in the courtroom.
Among the objectionable Facebook posts cited by the court were a declaration by Kwan shortly after the 2016 presidential election that he would go pick up a cat at a local shelter “before the president elect grabs them all.”
On the day of Trump’s inauguration, meanwhile, he took a shot at Trump for the way he conducted himself during the presidential campaign.
“Welcome to governing,” he said. “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?”
Attorney Greg Skordas, who is representing Kwan, tells the Salt Lake Tribune that he didn’t believe his client deserved such a harsh punishment.
““We never argued that the judge should not be sanctioned, but we felt and argued that a six-month suspension was too severe,” he said. “The Supreme Court obviously felt otherwise. We will honor that decision and abide by it.”