Georgia judge suspended for comparing removal of Confederate statues to ISIS actions

A judge in Gwinnett County, Georgia, has resigned after being suspended for drawing comparisons between the removal of Confederate monuments and the actions of the Islamic State. 

Judge Jim Hinkle wrote on Facebook Tuesday: “The nut cases tearing down monuments are equivalent to ISIS destroying history.”

The post was written the same day as protesters in Durham, North Carolina, illegally tore down a Confederate statue.

Hinkle had written on Saturday that protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, were “snowflakes” with “no concept of history,” as they countered an alt-right rally. The rally was intended to protest the relocation of a Confederate statue which depicted General Robert E. Lee.

“In Charlottesville, everyone is upset over Robert E. Lee statue,” Hinkle’s post stated. “It looks like all of the snowflakes have no concept of history. It is what it is. Get over it and move on. Leave history alone – those who ignore history are deemed (sic) to repeat the mistake of the past.”

The post was written approximately before a car rammed into counter protesters, killing one and injuring 19 others.

Gwinnett County Chief Magistrate Judge Kristina Hammer Blum told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) that she was not made aware of Hinkle’s Facebook posts until the newspaper contacted her for comment.

“After reviewing the Facebook posts you brought to my attention this morning, I have suspended Judge Hinkle effective immediately while I consider the appropriate final action,” she said in an email to the AJC.

“As the Chief Magistrate Judge, I have made it clear to all of our Judges that the Judicial Canons, as well as our internal policies, require Judges to conduct themselves in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity, impartiality, and fairness of the judiciary. I consider any violation of those principles and policies to be a matter of utmost concern, and will certainly take any action necessary to enforce compliance and to maintain the integrity of this Court.”

According to AJC, Hinkle did not “see anything controversial,” with his Facebook posts.

“But you know, with the way things are going in the world today, I guess everything’s controversial,” he added.

Hinkle tendered his resignation on Wednesday, just one day after his suspension.

“For 14 years, Judge Hinkle has dutifully served this court,” Blum said in a statement which was released through a Gwinnett County spokesman. “He is a lifelong public servant and former Marine. However, he has acknowledged that his statements on social media have disrupted the mission of this Court, which is to provide justice for all.”

“My decision to accept Judge Hinkle’s resignation is not a comment on his personal opinions; he is entitled to those,” Blum’s statement continued. “While, thankfully, our Constitution protects the right of all citizens to express their opinions, Judges are held to a more stringent standard by the Judicial Canons.”

The Canons Blum is referring to say, in part, that judges should “act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary.”





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