Court to decide on suspension of justice over emails

Written by The Associated Press | Dec 21, 2015 4:58 PM

Photo by AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File

(Easton) -- A decision about whether to suspend a Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice over his email practices is in the hands of a judicial ethics court after a five-hour hearing.

The three-member Court of Judicial Discipline did not indicate Monday when a ruling will be issued in the matter concerning Justice Michael Eakin.

Eakin said during the proceedings in the Northampton County Courthouse that he was sorry for the emails that have been criticized for their racial and sexual content.

Eakin's attorneys have argued against his possible interim suspension from the bench pending a full hearing, describing the emails as male banter not intended to become public.

An earlier story is below:

A member of the state Supreme Court is in an eastern Pennsylvania courtroom for a hearing into whether he should be suspended while a judicial ethics court decides if his email practices warrant discipline.

The hearing Monday in the county courthouse in Easton provides Justice Michael Eakin a chance to argue against his possible suspension to the Court of Judicial Discipline.

The Judicial Conduct Board is accusing Eakin of trading emails that someone of reasonable sensitivity would find objectionable.

The board, which acts as investigator and prosecutor, alleges Eakin didn't respect the court system's nondiscrimination policy and that he detracted from the dignity of his office.

In a response filed this week, Eakin's lawyers argued against suspension, describing the emails as male banter that wasn't intended to become public.

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