Friday, October 31, 2014

Florida Supreme Court Removes Trial Judge For Promoting Her Faith-Based Business From Courtroom

In Re: Judith Hawkins, (FL Sup. Ct., Oct. 30, 2014), the Florida Supreme Court, imposing a harsher penalty than recommended by a Hearing Panel (see prior posting), removed a Florida trial court judge from the bench. One of the major charges against Judge Hawkins was that she used her judicial office to promote her business, Gaza Road Ministries, and her book based on Biblical stories. She sold her Gaza Road Ministry products to lawyers appearing before her, promoted the products online wearing her judicial robes, and used her judicial assistant to promote and produce the products. She also failed to pay state sales tax on the sale of her books and failed to register her business.  AP reports on the court's decision.