Utah Judge Suspended After Making Negative Comments About Trump

In 2016 and 2017, Utah Judge Michael Kwan made several negative comments on private social media accounts referring to President Donald Trump. Because of this, Kwan is now facing six months of suspension without pay.

In one of these comments, Judge 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 Reichstag and refuse to stand up for the Constitution.

The Utah Supreme Court chose to reprimand Judge Kwan over these remarks, claiming that they tarnish the “reputation of our entire judiciary.” Though the comments were made privately, this decision was justified because of the possibility that his friends and family would share his posts — and, in doing so, make them public.

The ruling opinion also cited an instance in January 2017 when Judge Kwan alluded to Trump in court. After being assessed a fine, the defendant expressed concern over being able to pay, saying that he hoped his tax return would cover it. In response, Judge Kwan said that his anticipation may be misplaced, as construction on Trump’s proposed U.S. – Mexico border wall was set to begin “and [Trump] has no money to do that, and, so, if you think you are going to get taxes back this year, uh, yeah, maybe, maybe not.”

Judge Kwan believes his suspension is political in nature and a violation of his constitutionally protected right to freedom of speech, though he does express regret over his comments.

In a stunning display of double standards, however, President Trump has made a habit of appointing federal judges who make pointed political remarks in public without consequence. Most recently, the Senate voted to confirm Michael Truncale, who had previously called then-President Obama an “un-American impostor.” The only dissenting Republican vote came from Sen. Mitt Romney, who asserted that the comment should have precluded Truncale from appointment.

Then, of course, was Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee after being nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court when he suggested the allegations of sexual abuse was actually “revenge on behalf of the Clintons.” As we all know, he was ultimately considered fit to accept the nomination and confirmed.

One of the hallmarks of an authoritarian, non-democratic government is one in which political opponents and critics of those in power are punished and, if a member of that government, purged — not only to silence them, but to give warning to others who may have considered following suit. Although Judge Kwan will return to the bench in six months, his suspension is also a message to others serving in the federal government: Don’t dare criticize Trump or his administration unless you’re prepared to face the consequences.

Take Action!

Add your name to our Care2 petition and call on the Utah Supreme Court to reverse their decision to suspend Judge Michael Kwan. Serving in the judiciary does not mean forfeiting the First Amendment right to free speech!

Concerned about an issue? Want to raise awareness about an injustice? Join your fellow Care2 users by learning how to make your own petition and make your voice heard today!

 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

67 comments

Anna R
Alice R6 days ago

thanks very much

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Karen H
Karen H14 days ago

Trump can say anything about anybody on Twitter, but if anyone says anything negative about him.... If Judge Kwan's comments tarnish the “reputation of our entire judiciary", what do Trump's comments say about the reputation of our entire COUNTRY?

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Lynn R
Lynn R16 days ago

You may agree or disagree but remember that people are being told they have the right to speak their voice.

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E16 days ago

brian f
Did you stomp your feet as you were posting this ??
As a CANADIAN, I don't support anyone in particular in YOUR narrow minded world. I DO lean left or Liberal in my thinking though.
IF I'm a "schill" as you say, am I supposed to be compensated monetarily ? I thought maybe you could ask vlad or any of your "buddies" that you plagiarize or use their names on a regular basis. How much do YOU make per post?

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Brian F
Brian F16 days ago

Rhoberta E You sound like the Hillary supporters in 2016 telling the Bernie Sanders supporters to shut up and fall in line, even though Hillary is extremely corrupt. You shut up. It's the corrupt Democratic party that you defend that cheated Bernie Sanders out of his primary and caused this crook Trump to win. You're just a schill for the corrupt Democratic party establishment. I support Bernie Sanders who is the most popular politician in the country and has the best chance to beat this crook Trump in 2020. You shut up.

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E16 days ago

pam w
He NEVER shuts up and, just like trump, he wants HIS mantra to be the bright shiny object on EVERY thread and he THINKS he may miss one person who hasn't been subjected to the idiocy.
For over 3 years he has been whining the same tired song. I just assume he isn't intelligent enough to know what he suffers from.

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Brian F
Brian F16 days ago

Pam w Can you stay on topic for once? The only troll here is people like you.

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pam w
pam w16 days ago

(Rhoberta--you've just fed the troll! You've given him a smile and feelings of pride because HE managed to TROLL people here....stopping discussion, getting attention (OH--how they LOVE attention) and getting you to focus on him! The way to really shut him up is to ignore him! I'm assuming you want to shut him up....or do you?

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E17 days ago

brian f
Compared to your repetitive never ending posts about your one trick pony ideology, I'm proud of your title for me.

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Brian F
Brian F17 days ago

Rhoberta E Troll

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