Eakin says received-only emails don't belong in ethics trial

Written by The Associated Press | Mar 14, 2016 1:02 PM

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Michael Eakin, accompanied by his wife Heidi Eakin arrives for a hearing Monday, Dec. 21, 2015, at the Northampton County courthouse in Easton, Pa. to determine whether he should be suspended while a judicial ethics court decides if his email practices warrant discipline. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(Harrisburg) -- A Pennsylvania jurist facing an ethics trial over his email practices says pornographic or objectionable messages shouldn't be part of his case if there's no proof he read or responded to them.

Supreme Court Justice Michael Eakin's lawyers told the Court of Judicial Discipline late last week that such emails aren't relevant and are "undeniably prejudicial."

They argue they'd amount to "nothing more than a slide show of offensive emails, some of which are pornographic," and warn that showing them at trial would give the judiciary a black eye.

Eakin is accused of violating conduct rules for judges. His ethics trial is scheduled for later this month in Philadelphia.

His brief says blast emails were sent to state and federal prosecutors as well as 15 other judges, but he doesn't want to identify them.

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