A Georgia judge was temporarily kicked off the bench after he compared anti-racist and anti-Confederate protesters to the Islamic State group, often referred to as ISIS, in comments on Facebook over the weekend.
Gwinnett County Judge James “Jim” Hinkle started the controversy Saturday after he called anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville, Va., “snowflakes” who had “no concept of history,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
“In Charlottesville everyone is upset over Robert E. Lee statue. It looks like all of the snowflakes have no concept of history. It is what it is. Get over it and move on,” Hinkle wrote in the dismissive Facebook post. “Leave history alone—those who ignore history are deemed [methinks he means doomed here] to repeat the mistake of the past. In Richmond VA all of the Confederate monuments on Monument Ave. have people on horses whose asses face North. PERFECT!”
On Tuesday morning, the judge doubled down, quipping, “The nut cases tearing down Confederate monuments are equivalent to ISIS destroying history.”
A few hours after that post came out, Gwinnett County Chief Magistrate judge Kristina Hammer Blum confirmed that she had suspended Hinkle.
“After reviewing the Facebook posts you brought to my attention this morning, I have suspended Judge Hinkle effective immediately while I consider the appropriate final action,” Blum told AJC.
“As the chief magistrate judge, I have made it clear to all of our judges that the judicial canons, as well as our internal policies, require judges to conduct themselves in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity, impartiality and fairness of the judiciary,” Blum added. “I consider any violation of those principles and policies to be a matter of utmost concern, and will certainly take any action necessary to enforce compliance and to maintain the integrity of this court.”
For his part, Hinkle appears to be unapologetic, telling the news site that he didn’t “see anything controversial” about his posts.
“But you know, with the way things are going in the world today, I guess everything’s controversial,” he said.
As AJC notes, Hinkle’s latest post is only the most recent out of several that could raise questions about his ability to be impartial as a judge.
Back in March, Hinkle shared a link to a story with the headline, “U.S. Marine Dad Makes School PAY After Pushing Muslim Propaganda on Little Girl.”
In June 2016 he wrote in a post referencing Islam, “This is a tenet of what peaceful religion? ‘Slay the unbelievers wherever you find them.’”
On the same day the U.S. Treasury announced that Underground Railroad hero and iconic abolitionist Harriet Tubman would replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, Hinkle wrote, “Well, the U.S. Treasury has just announced the ugliest $20 bill, or any money ever.”
Read more at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.