Bob Layton Editorial: Judging a judge

Justice Kristine Eidsvik is a judge-in-residence at the University of Calgary. University of Calgary

It always surprises me when a judge, who should weigh each word said carefully, does not take the same care with their own words.

The first one I remember was when a judge in Arizona, noting the prosecutor was wearing red shoes remarked, “Only whores wear red shoes.”

He was, of course, reprimanded and taken off the bench for a time, but was later re-instated for a second four-year term.

The thinking was that his remark was not enough to end his career.

In Calgary, we had the “knees together” judge Robin Camp removed from the bench. He is trying to re-establish his career now as a lawyer. His lawyer says insensitivity should not be enough to end his career in law completely.

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READ MORE: ‘Knees together’ judge Robin Camp should be able to practise law again: lawyer

Now we have a Calgary Justice, Kristine Eidsvik, apologizing to a class of second-year law students.  She walked into the class and said she did not feel comfortable walking into a room “full of big dark people.”

She says she knew it was wrong the moment she said it.

READ MORE: Calgary judge apologizes for comments ‘insensitive to racial minorities’ made to law students

What’s the old saying – put your mind in gear before putting your mouth in motion?

Of all people, we should not have to judge, a judge.

Bob Layton is the news manager of the Corus Edmonton group of radio stations and a commentator for Global News.

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