Memphis Criminal Court Judge Jim Lammey said he dispenses justice regularly to gang members who, in his words, “would cut your throat for what you have in your pockets.”
Lammey also said he angers people when he sends their sons off to prison for 25 to 30 years.
But one of Lammey’s recent Facebook posts angered two possibly more ferocious and determined groups of people — immigrant rights groups and the left-leaning mainstream media.
As several Memphis media outlets and even Newsweek reported, people unloaded a torrent of anger after Lammey shared an article from someone later revealed as a Holocaust denier.
According to The Memphis Commercial Appeal, Lammey treats Hispanic defendants different in court and makes them register with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“The media is not concentrating on the fact that these people are illegal aliens. They just want to focus on how bad of a guy I am. They are switching the narrative from ‘Are these people following the law?’ to ‘He is not being fair and impartial, and he’s treating illegal aliens different because they are illegal aliens,’” Lammey told The Tennessee Star.
“But all I’m doing is enforcing the law as it already exists. They know I have the law on my side. It’s like in court when you’re a lawyer. You are making your argument. You don’t have the law then you argue the facts. If you don’t have the facts then you argue the law. If you don’t have either one then you attack the other side.”
The article Lammey shared — with David Cole as author — appeared on a website called takimag.com
Lammey told The Tennessee Star he never agreed with the content and said as much on Facebook. Lammey only said he thought it was interesting.
“There was nothing in the article that says this man is a Holocaust denier,” Lammey said.
“I would have had to have been a clairvoyant to know this guy was a Holocaust denier.”
Latino Memphis Board Chair Bryce Ashby reportedly wants Lammey to resign as judge.
Memphis Commercial Appeal columnist Tonyaa Weathersbee, meanwhile, reportedly said Lammey is “wedded to biases perpetuated on racist and anti-Semitic sites than to hard facts and his own experiences.”
Lammey, however, emphasized again that his job obligates him to enforce existing law.
“They don’t have the law on their side, so now they are trying to attack my character and my ability to be fair and impartial. They are sifting through all my Facebook posts to show that I can’t be fair and impartial to illegal aliens,” Lammey said.
Lammey said the Facebook posts have nothing to do with his ability to show fairness and objectivity in court.
Does Lammey plan to deactivate his Facebook account?
“I didn’t want to get off of social media immediately because it makes it look like I’m hiding something. You’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t. Here is the thing. I see what is happening in our country. I’m an American first. A criminal court clerk judge second. I should have a right, as long as I am not commenting on things that apply to my court, to do so,” Lammey told The Star.
“I guess if I were an immigration judge who makes comments about immigration then that might not be a good thing. None of the stuff has anything to do with my courtroom. The bottom line is if you enter the country illegally then don’t break the law. That way I won’t ever see you.”