A growing number of groups have called for disciplinary measures to be taken against a Tennessee judge who posted racist and anti-Semitic articles on his Facebook page, including one saying that Jews should “get the f**k over the Holocaust.”
A coalition of organizations, including Jewish ones, have called for a reprimand of Jim Lammey of the Shelby County Criminal Court.
Lammey posted a link to an article written by known Holocaust denier David Cole that referred to Muslim immigrants as “foreign mud” and made the Holocaust slur. He also shared anti-immigration articles, memes and conspiracy theories, according to a report in the Commercial Appeal daily.
The judge denied being racist or anti-Semitic and underscored his right to free speech in interviews with local media outlets. Lammey also claimed that nothing he has previously shared on social media would prevent him from judging all cases fairly.
“I certainly don’t agree with that, being a Holocaust denier. My best friend — who’s deceased now — was Jewish and I wouldn’t do that,” he told The Commercial Appeal.
In later interview with Fox 13, Lammey said that he has “good friends who are black,” and that “there’s nothing I’ve ever done in my whole life that would indicate that.”
Lammey said that he accidentally allowed his Facebook posts to be public earlier this year. They are now no longer visible to the public.
He was elected to office in 2006 and re-elected to serve an eight-year term in 2014.
Among the Jewish groups that have called for Lammey’s censure are the Anti-Defamation League Southeast Region, Jewish Federation and Jewish Foundation of Nashville & Middle Tennessee, Jewish Community Partners and the Tennessee Holocaust Commission. Others include the NAACP Memphis Branch, Memphis Islamic Center, American Muslim Advisory Council, Bridges, Facing History and Ourselves, Memphis Islamic Center and the National Civil Rights Museum.
On Wednesday, Shelby County commissioners took steps to discipline Lammey for his comments, the Appeal reported.
In a 10-13 vote, commissioners adopted a resolution calling on the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct to denounce Lammey’s comments. According to the Appeal, a public censure in these kinds of cases also can include a requirement of corrective action.