Last year, Florida attorney Donald McBath posted a string of racist, bigoted messages on Facebook.
He said people should “never trust a Muslim.” He referred to homosexuality as a “mental illness” and urged gay people to “abstain.” He referred to undocumented immigrants as “leaches on our system.” You get the idea. His Twitter bio, not surprisingly, said “100% Trump supporter #MAGA; #KAG; proud DEPLORABLE; Pro-God; Christian; Pro-Life; Pro-Gun; Anti-Sharia; Constitutional Conservative; Former Major US Army.”
McBath “retired” last year after his statements went viral in order to run for a seat on the Sixth Judicial Circuit, but he lost in the primary.
Even though he’s no longer a practicing lawyer, the Florida Supreme Court has now suspended him for 91 days.
During his candidacy, McBath confirmed to the Tampa Bay Times the comments were his, but said they wouldn’t prevent him from treating a Muslim or LGBTQ citizen fairly if one appeared before him as a judge.
The Bar nevertheless found his comments inappropriate, asserting he violated its rules regarding professional conduct and judicial canons. McBath “failed to maintain the dignity appropriate to judicial office and act in a manner that is consistent with impartiality, integrity, and independence of the judiciary.”
Why would anyone trust his ability to be impartial when he’s making a public spectacle of how clouded his judgment is? Are there any marginalized groups that this guy doesn’t have complete disdain for?
Whether the penalty will hurt him is another question. It’s not like he was a very good lawyer to begin with:
McBath has faced discipline in the past. He was admonished in 2014 for threatening an opposing party in a cease and desist letter. In 2007, he was suspended for 21 days for filing frivolous paperwork in a divorce case. He was publicly reprimanded in 2002 for committing trust account violations. And in 1997 he was admonished for not competently representing a client and for communicating poorly.
Who could’ve guessed that getting penalized for being a bigot was far from the only blemish on his record? Just shocking, I tell you.