Memphis Judge Jim Lammey, Who Outraged Leftist Groups, Gets Public Reprimand


The Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct has issued a formal reprimand to Memphis Criminal Court Judge Jim Lammey, who angered a coalition of left-wing activists with one of his recent Facebook posts.

As The Tennessee Star reported, Lammey shared an article from someone the mainstream media later identified as a Holocaust denier. Lammey said, however, he did not know that about the author at the time. In his role as a judge, Lammey makes illegal immigrants register with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Lammey declined a request for comment Thursday.

In its reprimand, BJC officials said a judge must uphold the independence and impartiality of the judiciary and must avoid even the appearance of impropriety.

The reprimand also said Lammey must complete a judicial ethics program and refrain from future social media comments or posts “that may reasonably be perceived as prejudiced or biased.”

As reported in May, the article Lammey shared — with David Cole as author — appeared on a website called

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.

BJC officials, in their reprimand, seem to recognize Lammey’s point of view.

“After a complete and thorough investigation, and under the limited and specific facts of this case, the Board acknowledges that there is no proof that you made any statements that were anti-Semitic, racist, or anti-immigration,” according to BJC’s reprimand.

“However, during the investigation it appears that some of your Facebook posts were partisan in nature, which is a clear violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct.”

According to The Memphis Commercial Appeal in May the following groups were among only some calling for Lammey’s censure: the NAACP Memphis Branch, Memphis Islamic Center, and Jewish Community Partners.

Lammey told The Star in May that his job obligates him to enforce existing law, and his doing so has angered many people.

Lammey also said the Facebook posts have nothing to do with his ability to show fairness and objectivity in court.

Lammey has served as a criminal court judge of Shelby County since 2006. He has no negative prior history with the BJC nor with the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility, not even as an assistant district attorney for 16 years prior.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Jim Lammey” by Jim Lammey





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5 Thoughts to “Memphis Judge Jim Lammey, Who Outraged Leftist Groups, Gets Public Reprimand”

  1. LEdwards

    How refreshing and encouraging to hear we have a Judge who is doing his job correctly and following the laws in Shelby County. The American people are fed up with hard left progressive judges implementing their preferred policy instead of enforcing the law. Thank God we have a president who is making positive changes to the corrupt Judicial system.

  2. Beatrice Shaw

    Activist judges should not be allowed this man is a shame

  3. William R. Delzell

    Too many judges in the U.S. have a right-wing bias that favors prosecutors over defendants, the rich over the poor, whites over non-whites, the professionals over the young, and so forth. In other words, judges who are supposed to be IMPARTIAL toward both the prosecution and defense have a bias, whether conscious or unconscious, that favors the prosecutors. While many prosecutors DO try to be fair and evenhanded, they are the exception, not the rule. Many prosecutors have used criminal methods to obtain false convictions of those defendants who cannot financially afford effective council. Many judges have had careers only on the prosecution and law enforcement side of the judiciary divide which prevents them from being even-handed between both defense and prosecutors. This leads to a presumption of guilt on the judge’s part, which flies right in the face of the U.S. principle of “innocent until proven guilty.” Many such judges in their prejudice against defendants will allow prosecutors to lie under oath (perjury–a jailable offense for anybody other than a prosecutor), to falsify evidence, or even to torture false confessions from defendants in high-profile crimes where there is pressure to find any suspect, whether innocent or guilty, just to get the outraged public off the polices’ back. We now have a case in a Texas town where evidence now points to a police officer as the real rapist/murderer for which somebody else (a poor black man) was forced to take the rap on death row. These types of miscarriages have no place in the U.S. judicial system, but go on frequently any way.

    Tennessee should follow San Francisco’s new model where that city’s electorate chose a progressive candidate for D.A. who will represent working class people instead of the wealthy privileged conservative white racist elite.

    1. Bubba

      It is difficult to tell if your opinions are sarcasm or stupidity. Would you please let me know which one it is?. Thanks.

  4. john

    The leftwing activists that hounded this good man are the ones who should be investigated, found guilty and imprisoned