Boy Judge Forced Off NY Bench for Racist Facebook Meme

Screenshot: New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct

People never learn: A part-time New York judge was forced off the bench, according to the Albany Times-Union, after posting a meme on Facebook showing a noose with the message, “IF WE WANT TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN WE WILL HAVE TO MAKE EVIL PEOPLE FEAR PUNISHMENT AGAIN.”

Kyle Canning was a part-time judge in the town of Altona, NY, near the Canadian border, from January 2018 until June of this year, when he resigned after a complaint was filed with the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct. As part of the terms Canning reached with the commission, Canning—who is 29 years old—also agreed to never seek judicial office again. His term was set to expire in 2021, according to commission documents. (The commission announced the news on Tuesday.)

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“The noose is an incendiary image with repugnant racial connotations,” commission administrator Robert H. Tembeckjian said on Tuesday. “It is the very antithesis of law and justice. For a judge to use the image of the noose in making a political point undermines the integrity of the judiciary and public confidence in the courts.”

Canning’s resignation letter to the town of Altona was disclosed in the documents. In it, the now-former judge claims that “due to my current financial situation and obligations to my family, I am being coerced into resigning.” Canning also apologized “for the inconvenience and hardship that I have imposed on my co-justice and the Town of Altona.”

Aside from this being yet another soul-crushing loss for racist Facebook memes and the bigots who love them, a question I have is: why on Earth was this guy a judge in the first place?

I’m all for millennials running for office (as long as they have good politics, that is), but...judge? This man is my age. I’m confident I’m smarter than him, and yet a few weeks ago I paid my rent out of a bank account I don’t use anymore. I’m not fit to judge anyone, and I didn’t even need a commission on judicial conduct from a state I don’t live in to tell me that.

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Either way, the residents of Altona are in luck, because Kyle Canning won’t be judging anyone ever again. Odds are he’ll just turn up in the Trump administration at some point.

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