I wish I could tell you that the Georgia judge’s name is Clarence Thomas, but alas. The good news is that the ousted judge definitely did things worthy of being ousted – this is where I celebrate anything that suggests any semblance of ethical responsibility to the judges, be it the chief justice or someone else , to keep in check. From Reuters:
The Georgia Supreme Court on Wednesday removed a state appellate judge from office after an investigation found he violated campaign finance rules and took advantage of an elderly client.
The Supreme Court upheld a hearing panel’s findings that Christian Coomer, a former state legislator who served at the Georgia Court of Appeals in Atlanta, acted in bad faith and for personal financial gain.
Former Judge Coomer was more than just a gavel beater; Coomer was also in the Air Force Reserve and the National Guard’s JAG. I’m all for supporting the troops, but embezzling old customers is no way to be thanked for your service. In addition to his poor judgment, Coomer also makes his peers look bad. The court came to a similar conclusion, with much fancier wording:
“By refusing to comply with laws and professional standards when it was in his best interest to fail to comply, he has undermined public confidence in his ability to honestly and fairly obey and apply the law in the cases before him,” said the Georgia Das said the Supreme Court in its 49-page opinion.
Even taking into account his ouster, the state has been fairly lenient towards Coomer. He has been suspended from salary since January 2021 after it was revealed that he funded a family trip with campaign funds. You couldn’t have ended the investigation a little earlier? That’s over two years of being on the payroll doing nothing! I know Georgia is currently suffering from a very large budget surplus, but there must be better ways to squander the money productively than writing checks to a judge who used campaign funds to bring his family to Hawaii.
Georgia Supreme Court fires appellate judge over ethical violations [Reuters]
Chris Williams became social media manager and assistant editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Before joining the team, he worked part-time as the underage Memelord™ in the Law School Memes Facebook group for Edgy T14s. He stayed in Missouri long enough to graduate from Washington University’s St. Louis School of Law. A former boat builder who can’t swim, he is a published author on critical racing theory, philosophy and humor, and loves cycling, which occasionally annoys his colleagues. You can reach him via email at email@example.com and tweet at @WritesForRent.