Slap On Wrist For Judge Who Shut Down Courtroom Over Kavanaugh Confirmation

Remember the Democratic county-level judge who closed his entire courtroom to protest Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court last year?

We didn’t either. After all, it has been about a year.

According to the Austin American-Statesman, the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct ruled that Travis County Court at Law No. 3 Judge John Lipscombe violated the state constitution. In doing so, he left 107 docket items with 69 defendants in the lurch on Oct. 8, 2018, though he maintained office hours.

“Judge Lipscombe’s decision to publicly protest Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation in this manner was influenced by partisan interests” the rebuke from the commission read, citing a portion of the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct that requires judges to “not be swayed by partisan interests.”

There were a total of five complaints filed against Judge Lipscombe, who apparently became enraged by President Donald Trump‘s nominee and his confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

Read more details and Lipscobme’s perspective here.

Lipscombe, who festooned his courtroom doors in black during his protest, is up for re-election in 2022, having served since 2011.

The ruling was signed on Aug. 8 and released Thursday.

From the hip: This is a long-delayed slap on the wrist for one judge out of many in a county that has 100% of its elected judges from the same political party. While these antics are rare, it underscores the importance of having competition (e.g. Republican candidates) for county-level court positions.

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