The Georgia judge who was suspended this week after he criticized protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, and across the country for trying to remove Confederate-era monuments has now resigned.
Gwinnett County Judge Jim Hinkle, a former longtime mayor of Grayson, tendered his resignation on Wednesday, Chief Magistrate Judge Kristina Hammer Blum told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution through a spokesman.
“For 14 years, Judge Hinkle has dutifully served this court,” Judge Blum said in a statement. “He is a lifelong public servant and former Marine. However, he has acknowledged that his statements on social media have disrupted the mission of this Court, which is to provide justice for all.”
On Saturday, less than an hour before the violent Charlottesville protests turned deadly, Judge Hinkle took to Facebook calling demonstrators seeking the removal of a 1924 statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee “snowflakes” who have “no concept of history.
“It is what it is. Get over it and move on,” he wrote, in part. “Leave history alone - those who ignore history are deemed [sic] to repeat the mistake of the past.”
Another post by Judge Hinkle on Tuesday compared “the nut cases tearing down monuments” to the Islamic State terrorist group, The Journal-Constitution reported.
Judge Hinkle previously declined to apologize or retract his comments, telling The Journal-Constitution that he didn’t “see anything controversial” about what he said.
Judge Blum said Wednesday that her decision to accept Judge Hinkle’s resignation “is not a comment on his personal opinions; he is entitled to those.”
“While, thankfully, our Constitution protects the right of all citizens to express their opinions, Judges are held to a more stringent standard by the Judicial Canons,” she said.
Judge Blum said in an earlier statement that the Judicial Canons, “as well as our internal policies, require Judges to conduct themselves in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity, impartiality, and fairness of the judiciary.”
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