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NY Judge Censured for Religious Impositions

New York state Judge Mary Brigantti-Hughes has been censured by the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct for a variety of actions to implicitly coerce those who worked for her into taking part in her religious beliefs and activities. The ABA Journal reports the details:

According to an agreed-upon statement of facts cited by the commission, Brigantti-Hughes:

• Asked her secretary and a court attorney to pick up her daughter and babysit the child.

• Brought her child to court and asked staffers to watch her.

• Asked her secretary drive her to the hair salon and to shopping.

• Directed staffers to type or copy religious material for her personal use.

• Asked a court attorney to accompany her to Home Depot to buy and pot plants for a church function.

• Asked court staff to join her in prayer in court chambers, and asked staffers to attend religious events after regular business hours…

Brigantti-Hughes had asserted that she didn’t intend to coerce any staffers into participating in religious activities. She “now recognizes, however, that such requests are inherently coercive when made by a judge to her personal appointees or other court employees,” the determination says.

Glad she recognizes that now.

Comments

  1. Larry says

    Brigantti-Hughes had asserted that she didn’t intend to coerce any staffers into participating in religious activities

    Liars for Jesus Club, Judicial Chapter

  2. tubi says

    I guess she just intended them to do a bunch of drudgery that she either should have done herself or paid someone else to do, rather than imposing on her appointees to do her chores (and parenting, apparently).

  3. eric says

    All of those are unethical and collectively they are definitely censure-worthy. However, bullets 1-3 have nothing to do with religion and bullet 5 is really only marginally related. If #5 it were “accompany me to a pet store to buy a goat for sacrifice” I could see how that would be taken by the accompanying person as coerced participation in the judge’s religion. But flowers from home depot? Sorry, IMO that’s more in the category of coerced shopping than coerced participation in religion. Still bad, but not religious.

  4. evodevo says

    Sounds like the same stuff any private sector exec expects of his wage slaves….. judges tend to think of themselves as execs/privileged people. Doesn’t surprise me in the least. I’m just surprised someone called her on it.

  5. dugglebogey says

    Isn’t it amazingly ironic how the punishment for ordinary people who don’t know the law and accidentally break it is prison, but the punishment for people whose job it is to know and understand the law and accidentally break it is basically nothing?

  6. chisaihana5219 says

    Synfandel, No you can’t buy pot plants at Home Depot. However, if you contact a naturalist in your area (they are usually also Master Gardeners – Google it), they can show you where the pot plants grow naturally in your county. They are “weeds” and can be found in almost any overgrown vacant field. Quality won’t be as good as specially grown plants, but it’s still canabis sativa.

  7. eric says

    evodevo;

    Sounds like the same stuff any private sector exec expects of his wage slaves

    If this has been your experience, you need to quit that company. Through 11 executive bosses over about 15 years, it hasn’t been mine. The private sector isn’t all kittens and rainbows, but its not all Ebeneezer Scrooges, either.

  8. Alverant says

    And what about the last one eric? The one where she makes her staff pray with her and attend religious ceremonies on their time? I’d say that one was pretty religious. The others just so the extent she thinks she owns her employees.

  9. says

    When I was in the Air Force we would get “requests” for donations to buy flowers for a funeral of a fellow airman. Then it became guys in other units, then their wives. One day somebody came around asking for something so that they could buy a funeral arrangement for the Base Commander’s mother-in-law who had died in the U.S. (we were in Germany). A few days later, I and another guy started asking for donations to buy a nice arrangement for a cat that had been run over by a truck. The beggars brigade shut down after that.

    Signing a card for someone that you don’t know is about as far as I’m willing to go, unless the family is destitute and the moneys are needed for funeral or living expenses.

    The judge seems to lack judgment; I hope she isn’t hearing any cases involving the constitutionally guaranteed behavior of sinners.

  10. Trebuchet says

    @6:

    Isn’t it amazingly ironic how the punishment for ordinary people who don’t know the law and accidentally break it is prison, but the punishment for people whose job it is to know and understand the law and accidentally intentionally break it is basically nothing?

    FTFY

    I opened this post fully expecting to read about religiously oriented sentences she imposed — you know, like probation if you attend the church of her choice for a year. I’d pretty much bet money she’s been doing that.

  11. eric says

    And what about the last one eric?

    Its religious, as is bullet #4. I’m not defending her. All of those bullets are unethical conduct. But only two of the six items listed here were impositions of religion.

    Now, you could reply that one religious imposition is one too many. I agree. I guess my point is that when Ed says someone was fired for religious impositions, lists six fireable offenses she did, and four of them aren’t actually religious impositions, I feel the need to quibble.

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