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Wonder if He’s a “Justified” Fan

This makes sense to me.  Being a judge makes one a target, not just by those in the public, but often by those who have their cases before them.

Agreeing to put on the robes can be dangerous business (Insert obligatory Prosser – Bradley to your political leaning’s liking joke here.)

When Tim Duket carries a handgun, it will definitely be concealed.

Under his judicial robes.

“As a Marinette County Circuit Court judge, it is my intention to carry a concealed weapon in the courthouse and courtroom,” Duket wrote in a July 17 email to the state Judicial Conduct Advisory Committee. “I suspect that other circuit court judges in Wisconsin have the same intention.”

Perhaps, but the others haven’t been as open about their plans.

Duket has a good reason for contacting state judicial officials with his plans.

He wants to make sure he doesn’t get into trouble for packing heat while on the bench.

Lawmakers earlier this year passed a bill allowing Wisconsin adults to carry concealed weapons under certain conditions. Judges were even given special permission to bring firearms into courtrooms – though that might not be advisable for those on the tension-filled state Supreme Court.

But Duket noted that a Wisconsin judge was punished years ago under the state’s judicial code for concealing a revolver in his courtroom.

Back in the early ’90s, the Supreme Court barred former Kenosha County Judge Jerold Breitenbach from judicial duties for two years after he admitted keeping a loaded Smith & Wesson .357-caliber Magnum revolver with him – and occasionally leaving the firearm in his courtroom wastebasket – when meting out justice.

Duket wants a formal ruling from either the state Judicial Commission or the advisory committee to clarify the issue.

“It’s important for them to weigh in on whether they feel it is or is not a violation of the code of judicial conduct (to have a concealed weapon), even though the statute says judges can,” Duket said.

He shouldn’t expect a ruling anytime soon.

James Alexander, executive director of the Judicial Commission, directed the veteran judge to the advisory committee. Appeals Court Judge Kitty Brennan, chairwoman of the advisory committee, hasn’t responded to Duket’s note.

In an interview, Brennan said she couldn’t discuss whether she had even received a request for a formal opinion because that would be confidential.

For those wondering, the “Justified” reference is for a the character of “Judge Mike “The Hammer” Reardon” played by Stephen Root (“Jimmy James” from NewsRadio, “Milton” from Office Space, and “Gordon” from Dodgeball).  Reardon’s a conservative federal judge based out of Louisville and after a number of death threats to him related to a coal mining land case he was presiding over, took to wearing a concealed weapon under his robes.

Of course, for comic relief, it was often one of the few things Reardon would have under his robes.  The few times the character’s been seen, he’s been known to wear only a Speedo under his robes while on the bench.

In DVD commentary, the writers say that was pitched from Root’s himself.

(I’m a huge fan of the show and am opening to riot if Margo Martindale is robbed of an Emmy.)

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