Canadian judge who wore 'Make America Great Again' hat to be suspended

Hamilton judge who wore pro-Donald Trump hat suspended for 30 days without pay

Hamilton judge who wore pro-Donald Trump hat suspended for 30 days without pay

Zabel, who has worked as a judge in Ontario for nearly three decades, wore the hat into the Hamilton courtroom the day after the U.S. presidential election. After The Globe reported that he had done so, a flurry of complaints and media attention followed and, on his next day in court, November 15, he apologized publicly, explaining that he had been joking and was not expressing support for Mr. Trump. We are satisfied that Justice Zabel does not hold any of the discriminatory views that the complainants attribute to Donald Trump, ” it said. Judges must conduct themselves so as to avoid any perception that the administration of justice will be influenced by their political views.

"It is hard to imagine how or why a judge of Justice Zabel's experience and record of service conducted himself as he did and there appears to be no risk that he would ever be motivated by any of the political views that he appeared to endorse", the panel said.

The judicial council didn't take the matter that lightly, saying the conduct warranted a severe reprimand, even if it didn't think Zabel should be removed from his office.

Zabel's choice of hat prompted 81 people to complain to the council.

Justice Zabel testified that he did not intend to indicate his personal support for Donald Trump or any of the views Trump expressed during the campaign.

But when it ended, the court papers said, he said to a prosecutor that the hat's "brief appearance" was meant to annoy the rest of the judges because he thought they were Clinton supporters.

Many lawyers and justices defended Zabel because of his record of impartiality on the bench.

The disciplinary panel determined that Mr Zabel breached judicial standards by donning the hat, writing in its decision that the judge had "a lengthy and stellar record of service" marred by "a single and inexplicable" act of judicial misconduct, Buzzfeed said.

The panel found that despite the seriousness of the misconduct, there were also mitigating factors. "I was the only Trump supporter up there, but that's OK", he said.

The statement continued to say that members of vulnerable group don't need to worry the treatment they would receive in his courtroom.

Zabel will be suspended for 30 days.

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