Discipline Court Suspends Pennsylvania’s Justice Eakin

Justice Eakin
Justice Eakin

Pennsylvania’s Court of Judicial Discipline has suspended state Justice Michael Eakin, with pay, over lewd and offensive emails, saying they have “tainted the Pennsylvania judiciary in the eyes of the public.”

Eakin is charged with violating the rules of judicial conduct, and his suspension is effective until the same court makes a finding on those charges, The Philadelphia Inquirer said.

“Until the trial on the merits, when the actions of the Respondent can be more closely reviewed, the integrity of the Pennsylvania judiciary has been and continues to be subject to disrespect. The only means to ensure the public’s confidence in the Pennsylvania judiciary is to suspend the Respondent pending the full trial on the merits of the Complaint,” the discipline court said. You can read the court’s order by clicking here.

Eakin has apologized, while contending the email exchanges were intended to be private and did not affect his serving as an impartial judge. The accusations against him come as scandal has affected several members of the court, and amid calls — and proposed legislation — for Pennsylvania to stop electing its top judges and adopt instead an appointive, merit-based selection system (see Gavel Grab).