Kim D. Ringler of the state attorney general's office argued in favor of the ban, saying municipal judges represent the most frequent contact the public has with the justice system. Some of the characters Sicari has depicted on TV could confuse the public and reflect badly on the judiciary, she said.He headlined at Caroline's comedy club and he's not even tapping the material he must have in his head about lawyers? What a drag it is to be a judge! The requirement of sobriety is easy for some, a terrible burden for others.
"His actions detract from the dignity of his judicial office and may reflect adversely on the judge's impartiality," Ringler said of Sicari's performances....
Sicari makes $13,000 a year as a part-time judge... He never cracks jokes on the bench and never lets on that he moonlights as a comic, [his lawyer] said. On stage, he doesn't touch lawyer jokes, the lawyer said.
On Tuesday, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner questioned whether Sicari's comedic routines touched on topics considered commonplace in the comedy world, including "remarks demeaning individuals on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation or socio-economic status," which are prohibited under judge's rules of conduct.
Britcher said Tuesday that much of Sicari's comedy is derived from personal observations outside of work, such as his upbringing as an Italian Catholic.
On Monday night, Sicari headlined at Caroline's comedy club in New York and brought down the house with his acerbic takes on current events, including the scandals surrounding Lance Armstrong and Oscar Pistorius. None of the jokes targeted the legal profession, but his humor did touch on the categories Rabner mentioned.
I hope Sicari wins his case, but if he loses, I hope he dumps his day job and lets us hear all the lawyer jokes he's been keeping to himself in his effort to avoid confusing the public and reflecting badly on the judiciary. If you're really good, Mr. Sicari, bust loose and confuse the hell out of us with all the bad reflections you've got.
Several justices questioned whether the public had the ability to separate Sicari's position as a judge from roles he has played on the ABC hidden camera show "What Would You Do?" in which he has portrayed homophobic and racist characters.Oh, no. People are dumb, and people must go before judges....
Associate Justice Anne M. Patterson asked about a person who watches such a skit on TV and then comes into court for a traffic ticket hearing. "Is that person going to have their confidence in the dignity of the judiciary affected?" Patterson asked.
Ringler, arguing that the roles of judge and comedian are incompatible, cited the example of the actor Larry Hagman, who was said to have been berated in public by fans who associated him with his role as the conniving J.R. Ewing in the long-running television series "Dallas."