A legal firm dedicated to ensuring the right to freely discuss Islam is asking the Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board to investigate the actions of a magistrate judge who it says failed to protect the First Amendment rights of a man mocking Mohammad.
Last October, atheist Ernest Perce dressed in a “zombie Mohammad” costume to march in a Halloween parade in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania and was attacked by a Muslim in the crowd. But Perce was subsequently arrested by a local police officer. Cumberland County Magisterial District Judge Mark Martin then dismissed the harassment charges Perce filed against Talaag Elbayomy, his Muslim attacker, and instead called Perce a “doofus”, citing the Islamic faith and anti-blasphemy sharia laws as a rationale for the physical assault (see earlier story).
Sam Nunberg of The Legal Project, an activity of the Middle East Forum, which is representing Perce. He has a problem with Judge Martin’s recognition of sharia law.
“This ruling throws out our United States Constitution, throws out our First Amendment, puts Islamic anti-blasphemy defamation of religion laws over our First Amendment, gives it binding in the court system, and lets the defendant off of a crime, rationalizing that what he did would not be wrong in Islamic countries,” Nunberg summarizes.
When a complaint was filed about Martin, the Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board only “privately rebuked” him for his ruling.
“The Judicial Conduct Board should revisit their decision and should lead an enquiry, which should possibly lead to dismissal,” the attorney suggests. “His term extends into 2018. A private rebuke is certainly not something that was fitting of conduct in the courtroom from the bench.”
Nunberg believes it is imperative that a judge who makes unconstitutional rulings be removed.
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