Canadian judge who wore 'MAGA' hat in court suspended

Alexandra Wilts
US President Donald Trump holds up a red cap that reads "Make Counties Great Again": AFP/Getty Images

A Canadian judge who wore a “Make America Great Again” hat in court has been suspended for 30 days.

Judge Bernd Zabel had shown up to work the day after the US’s 2016 election donning the hat advertising Donald Trump’s campaign slogan.

After the Globe and Mail published a story about Mr Zabel's MAGA attire, the Ontario Judicial Council received a flood of complaints from people expressing concerns that they would not be treated impartially in Mr Zabel’s courtroom, according to Buzzfeed News.

Appearing before the council’s disciplinary panel last month, Mr Zabel said he regretted wearing the hat.

“It was ill-considered, ill-thought out and I’ve obviously learned a lot from that,” he told the panel.

Mr Zabel, who has worked as a judge in Ontario for nearly 30 years, said he had bought several MAGA hats as historical memorabilia, not because he supported Mr Trump, Buzzfeed reported.

He wore one of the iconic red hats to “add a bit of humour” to the court proceedings. But that apparently didn’t work.

The disciplinary panel determined that Mr Zabel breached judicial standards by donning the hat, writing in its decision that the judge had “a lengthy and stellar record of service” marred by “a single and inexplicable” act of judicial misconduct, Buzzfeed said.

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