MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) — The Shelby County Commission voted unanimously Monday for a resolution to censure Criminal Court Judge Jim Lammey over anti-Semitic and anti-immigration social media posts.
Commissioner Tami Sawyer sponsored the resolution of censure of Lammey after he posted columns on his Facebook page where authors expressed views denying the Holocaust and using the term “foreign mud” in relation to immigrants.
“Because crime is high, we put more officers on the street and pass harsher laws,” said Sawyer. “We spend money to build more jails and detain more juveniles, but yet we struggle with how to attack the crime of racial injustice and hatred.”
Commissioners don’t have the authority to censure a judge, although they have censured fellow commissioners before.
Monday’s approved resolution recommends the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct take action against Lammey.
“Judge Lammey’s activity on social media puts a reasonable doubt in my mind that he has kept that public trust because some of the content he has shared draws on racial stereotypes,” said Commissioner Mick Wright.
Lammey was a no-show to defend himself at Monday’s commission meeting. Instead, he sent a letter citing a pending judicial conduct complaint that must first be resolved and also wrote, “It seems you’ve made already reached a conclusion without my side of the story.”
Rabbi Kati Bauman of MICAH says the Commission’s vote was a win over hate because of the lack of impartiality and trust in the legal system Lammey’s actions present.
“This was clearly an instance of institutionalized racism posted for all to see on Facebook, so we thought it was our job to be here and bring clarity to this situation,” said Rabbi Bauman.