In June of this year, the Southern District of California judge who was presiding over the case of an alleged white supremacist was fired over his perceived racism.
Judge Andrew Miltenberg had filed an order denying the defendant’s request for dismissal, and the court clerk noticed the judge’s handwriting was white, and that the defendant had written on the court document that he wanted to hire someone from a minority group.
In the order, the clerk noted that Miltenburg had written, “I’m not an employee of this office.”
He was dismissed, and within weeks, the judge was sued for his racism.
In response, the California Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Miltenheim in February, alleging that his racial comments had violated his duties as a public servant.
Judge Miltenburgh argued that he was entitled to his constitutional right to free speech, and argued that the plaintiff’s complaint was frivolous.
Judge Denny Chin, the presiding judge in the case, took the case to the California Supreme Court, and ultimately dismissed the case in August.
The ruling was hailed as an important victory for racial equality in the courtroom, but the ruling also sparked outrage and accusations of racism from some in the white community, including the National Action Network, which is a leading white supremacist group.
As an attorney and former prosecutor, I am deeply disappointed in the Supreme Court decision in this case.
The Court has clearly stated that if it has to overturn the ruling, it will overturn it, no matter how much or how little the ruling is discriminatory.
However, as a civil rights lawyer, I will not be surprised if the decision is reversed and the white supremacist is vindicated.
The NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund issued a statement condemning the ruling as “an affront to the rights of people of color to express their opinions without fear of reprisal,” and argued “this decision should be viewed as a clear warning to anyone in the public eye who wants to openly speak out against white supremacy, including in the courts.”
As the Southern Poverty Law Center noted in a statement, the court’s decision was “deeply disappointing.”
While it is still unclear how Miltenberger will appeal, his attorney told the Los Angeles Times that the dismissal “shows that the court is not above the law and it is the right thing to do.”