Author: Vera October 9, 2015
A Pennsylvania Supreme Court judge has recently been exposed for his hidden racist, homophobic and misogynistic beliefs after emails from his office surfaced.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin is currently facing scrutiny, as the emails exposing him are now being examined at the Judicial Conduct Board by the State Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane. And there’s more – besides the offensive conversations that took place, Kane also says there was pornography involved. Just another conservative scandal.
One of the emails, which dated back to 2010, exposed Eakin for joking about a woman who goes to the doctor “beaten black and blue.” In the “joke,” the doctor tells her to drink tea and hold it in her mouth until her husband goes to bed. Like magic, the beatings stop. Kane explains: “The punch line is that she should just shut up.”
Shutting women up was a common theme in Eakin’s emails – which is no surprise since he’s a Republican. Another noted the fact that 30% of female murder victims were killed by their male partners.
“The punch line is ‘Well, 30 percent of them should have just shut the expletive up.’”
Eakin got a kick out of making fun of women, and some of it was not only misogynistic but downright disturbing. One message contained a topless woman with the caption:
“Dear Abby: ‘I’m an 18-year-old girl from Arkansas and I’m still a virgin. Do you think my brothers are gay?’ “
Another email addressed to Eakin portrays Muslim children as suicide bombers. The message speaks of a Muslim mother being upset that her children “blow up so fast.” In yet another exchange, there is a video that refers to Mexicans as “animals” and used racial slurs. Black people were also insulted – a message portrayed African Americans as welfare recipients who only voted for Obama so they could receive checks.
Carol Tracy, executive director of the Women’s Law Project, took note of Eakin’s powerful role in society and said:
“It’s enraging that men of this stature are engaged in activities that are so demeaning to women and to minorities.”
Legal ethics experts have also spoken out against Eakin and all involved in the offensive emails. Philadelphia lawyer and lecturer on legal ethics at Yale University Law School Lawrence Fox thinks that the emails might have been in violation of Pennsylvania’s code of ethics for judges.
Geoffrey C. Hazard Jr., a specialist on judicial ethics and emeritus professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, said:
“This justice ought to say, ‘I’m terribly embarrassed. In retrospect, I deeply regret having done it. And I hope I will be forgiven.’”
Charles Geyh, a specialist on judicial ethics at Indiana University’s law school, advises that although judges are human and sometimes find themselves in social situations where offensive jokes are told, judges should always act impartial so as not to compromise their competency as a judge. Geyh explained:
“You do cross the line when someone has to ask, ‘Do I want to go before a judge who finds this kind of stuff funny?’”
I certainly wouldn’t, and I can bet that any minority or domestic violence victim would agree.