Municipal Court Judge Michael Kwan has been suspended for six months without pay by the Utah State Supreme Court for comments he made about President Trump.
The New York Times reports Kwan came under scrutiny for remarks he made both in court and on his Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.
Kwan is well known in Utah’s Asian American community. He has been a leader in bringing recognition to the role of Chinese Americans in building the Transcontinental Railroad. He recently emceed the banquet put on by the Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association to mark the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. He also was outspoken about a recent yellowface television performance by the Odyssey Dance Company.
The judge made a joke in court about tax reform under Trump and the use of tax dollars to build a wall at the Mexican border. Some saw the joke as critical of the president.
Kwan wrote on social media “Think I’ll go to the shelter to adopt a cat before the President-Elect grabs them all.” Then in a separate post he wrote in direct reference to the President ” “Will you continue to demonstrate your inability to govern and political incompetence?”
The Hill reports the comments on social media were made in his private account. Kwan defended his posts as protected under the first amendment and said his comments in court were meant to be funny in an effort to ease the tension.
The Supreme Court said the judge was suspended for the “improper use of judicial authority and his inappropriate political commentary”
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