Judge: I said men ‘are in control.’ That was misguided
A New Jersey judge facing discipline after suggesting to a defendant that men “are in control” has acknowledged that the remarks were inappropriate.
Municipal Court Judge Steven Brister’s response published Monday called the comments “well-meaning but misguided.”
East Orange Municipal Judge Steven Brister told a defendant in February to treat women "as if you're holding a feather, just to let them know you're the man and you're in control,” according to a complaint filed with the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct.
He told the defendant, who was appearing via a video stream, that men get frustrated with "the women human beings" because they were created with a curve, which he later explained was a reference to the biblical story of Eve being created from Adam's rib.
"No matter how much you try, or how you try to straighten out that curve, you can never do it. We get frustrated and then but, in our frustration, you can't come at them like you Mike Tyson and they're in the ring like they're Leon Spinks. You can't do it. You can't punch, you can't hit," Brister told the defendant according to the complaint.
The judge, who also works part time for the city of Newark, was charged by the Supreme Court Advisory Committee with violating five canons of the Code of Judicial Conduct including a requirement that judges decide cases "according to the law and facts" and not permit family, social, political, financial or other relationships or interests to influence their judicial conduct or judgment.
Brister sits in East Orange part-time and is an acting judge in Newark. His response Monday said he has recently completed several ethics courses.
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