So here’s an interesting story that popped up in the news today. Judge Nordby (Hennepin County) is accused of violating ethics rules for his courtroom condemnation of a court monitoring group and their intimidating red clipboards.
I have spent some time in front of Judge Nordby and found him to be a very intelligent, understanding, and reasonable person. For the situation to have reached the level WATCH is claiming, something bad must have occurred. At the same time, I have also seen WATCH in action, and seen them take action on a Judge who was acting inappropriately and was clearly out of line. (Not something I would ever expect from Judge Nordby)
Judge Jack Norby of Hennepin County asserted that the clipboards carried by members of WATCH were a “not very subtle threat to the judge” that were akin to gang signs, according to a transcript cited in the ethics complaint. Norby complained about the group in a lengthy statement he read during a December sentencing hearing in a child molestation case, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the CityPages blog The Blotter, [and the ABA Journal].
WATCH has “an intended nefarious influence on the court system,” Norby said, and the group exhibits a “mixture of self-righteousness, officiousness, arrogance, humorlessness and ignorance.”
I’m not sure what actually went down, but you can read the complaint by WATCH and Judge Nordby’s response to judge for yourself. I’m inclined to give Judge Nordby the benefit on this one, and would be very curious to see what their discovery demands produce.