Canadian judge suspended for wearing Trump hat in court
TORONTO — A Canadian judge who wore a hat in court with President Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” has been suspended without pay.
The Ontario Judicial Council said Tuesday that the conduct of Justice Bernd Zabel warrants the most serious reprimand possible short of removing him from the bench. The council said the hat incident was an “inexplicable act of judicial misconduct” from an otherwise respected judge.
Zabel will be suspended for 30 days.
“Justice Zabel’s conduct that day gave rise to a perception by many that he was a Trump supporter and that he agreed with Trump’s views and policies. In doing so, he violated a fundamental principle of judicial ethics and, particularly in view of the controversy surrounding Trump’s campaign, engaged in serious misconduct,”’ the council panel wrote.
“His conduct on Nov. 9, 2016, was completely at odds with the exemplary judge he has been for the past 27 years. We are satisfied that Justice Zabel does not hold any of the discriminatory views that the complainants attribute to Donald Trump,” it said.
The council received 81 complaints about the incident. He has not been assigned cases since January.