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 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.
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.
[pdf-embedder url=”https://tennesseestar.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Signed-PR.pdf” title=”Signed PR”]
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