Yesterday, the following tweet was shared extensively on Twitter of a judge wearing a Women's March pussyhat inside of her court room.
Travis County Judge Wears "Pussy Hat" During Court Hearings.— Joe Biggs (@Rambobiggs) January 30, 2017
could you expect to have a fair trial especially as a man if you saw this? pic.twitter.com/dJ10We0RcQ
The judge was identified as Sarah Eckhardt, a county judge in Travis County in Texas. This tweet set off a series of questions as to whether a judge could wear political symbols inside a courtroom. An investigation by ABC News affiliate KVUE determined the following about whether it is legal for Judge Eckhardt to do so. Here was what they found:
In Travis County, the "County Judge" position is an elected role. The winner of the election oversees the commissioners court and is in many ways a commissioner themselves.
Similar to a City Council and mayor relationship, the County Judge acts as the head of the Commissioners and county government.
KVUE's Jason Puckett reached out to multiple county departments to verify that this behavior was acceptable and found that almost every source he spoke with agreed - Eckhardt is in the clear.
However, there have been plenty of instances where political symbols were not allowed in a court room. Last September, a public defender wore a Black Lives Matter button and a black arm band, resulting in the judge questioning her neutrality and impartiality in the court. The defender eventually removed the button.
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