The psychological term for it is The Online Disinhibition Effect, a condition brought on by the interlocking effects of dissociative anonymity, invisibility, asynchronicity, solipsistic introjection, dissociative imagination, and minimization of authority. This is the condition that leads people otherwise aware of proper social and professional behavior to go off the rails and say things they would know not to broadcast publicly if the world could easily identify them.
That’s what happened to a self-identified judge who routinely posted under a pseudonym on a popular college sports board.
And now it looks like we’ve cracked the code and figured out who this judge is, and if we’re right, he’s a rising star. Or he was a rising star, before this….
(It turns out that we’re right. Please note the UPDATE at the end of this post.)
The alleged culprit in this case goes by “Geauxjudge” and he’s an LSU fan. Obviously. Because literally every LSU fan thinks using “Geaux” is the height of clever. Anyway, Geauxjudge posts on the LSU fan board Tiger Droppings, which is actually a pretty great board if you’re trying to stay atop the cesspool of recruiting violations that is the SEC. It’s no replacement for taking time to listen to the Paul Finebaum Show every day so you can be on top of the next violent tree murder, but it’s a good start.
Anyway, Geauxjudge posts stuff like this:
Unfortunately for him, he also posted a good deal of thinly-veiled personal information, including his education history, leading Matt Campbell of Blue Hog Report to conclude that Geauxjudge was actually Arkansas Circuit Court judge and Court of Appeals candidate Judge Mike Maggio. If you think that posting off-color sexism is “no big deal,” then you’re (a) a troglodyte or (b) a 12-year-old. However, putting aside whether or not this is a big deal generally (it is), this is someone holding themselves out — if quasi-anonymously — as a judge who presides over divorce proceedings to revel in a deep disdain for women whose husbands cheat on them.
Shut up, honey, and be a better cook. Jesus. This sort of brash admission of prejudice in cases he admits to regularly seeing should disqualify him from his post. On the plus side for Geauxjudge, Adam Carolla has been looking for someone to help him bring back The Man Show.
Now for a melange of awful:
There are many more such posts over at Blue Hog Report.
We’ve defended judges speaking their minds before, but this is just a big ball of unprofessionalism. And while I got some flack for not respecting professionalism when I recently wrote about business attire — even though I didn’t bash business attire, but rather the Me Generation refugees who want mandatory business attire back so they can parade their conspicuous consumption around the office like a pathetic status symbol — professionalism is actually kind of important, especially for a judge. It’s hard to trust the judicial temperament of someone who not only thinks this stuff but thinks it’s acceptable to say this stuff in a civilized society. I guess we can all just be thankful he shared his bigotry with the public so if he is shown to be Judge Maggio, the voters can respond accordingly.
Or perhaps you don’t care about sexism, racism or homophobia, and want to see some good old fashioned judicial ethics violations!
Hm. Probably shouldn’t be telling people that. Charlize Theron did indeed adopt a baby around that time, so the timing certainly works out.
Oops, looks like some veiled racism got in there anyway.
While this story only broke yesterday afternoon, it didn’t take long for this bit of investigative reporting to trigger something more formal: Judge Maggio is facing a Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission investigation into his link to Geauxjudge.
The JDDC is aware of the allegations that were reported today. Under Rule 7C(3) I can confirm the pendency of an investigation by this agency. The judge will have full due process rights during our litigation of this matter. This office will not have further public statement until the case concludes with dismissal, agreed resolution or public charges.
David J. Sachar, Executive Director
In another sad but comical twist, since the investigation came to light, Geauxjudge has been deleting his most inflammatory comments from Tiger Droppings, apparently failing to understand the power of screenshots. Shouldn’t a judge understand spoliation?
We still can’t say for certain the identity of Geauxjudge, but if it turns out that this is Judge Maggio, the Arkansas Times notes that it wouldn’t be the first time he’s raised ethical questions.
He brings a record already marked by a past discipline by the state Ethics Commission for expenditure of campaign money on personal expenses. He was also written up by the Conway Log Cabin Democrat for flashing a badge at a state trooper during a speeding stop. And he’s had a variety of financial mishaps — tax liens and a mortgage in arrears. We’ve focused on him more recently for a remarkable write-down of a unanimous jury verdict in a nursing home malpractice case. He said he was shocked by the $5 million verdict for pain and suffering of a woman left untreated by the nursing home and reduced the award to $1 million. He’s received a third of the money he’s raised for his campaign so far from nursing homes, with help from UCA lobbyist Gilbert Baker, who contends he’s working on his own time as a bundler of money for conservative judicial candidates and Republican legislative candidates.
There’s even video of that traffic stop where he tried to pull, I guess his, Judge Badge™.
Is Judge Maggio made of teflon? Because that’s not the record you expect to see from someone who was, at least until now, considered a viable candidate for higher office. Judge Maggio has not given a public statement yet, but conservative blogger Jason Tolbert had this to say earlier this morning:
— The Tolbert Report (@TolbertReport) March 4, 2014
So this could be coming to an end soon and Tiger Droppings may soon have a new commenter named, “GeauxArkansasLawFirmPartner.”
UPDATE (3/6/2014, 12:00 p.m.): Judge Maggio has owned up to, and apologized for, the message-board postings. He has also dropped out of the Court of Appeals race. You can read his full statement here.
UPDATE: Internet postings point to Judge Mike Maggio as source of provocative comments and remarks on confidential adoption proceeding involving Charlize Theron; judicial agency reviewing
[Arkansas Blog / Arkansas Times]
WHO HAVE YOU WRONGED, MR. MAGGIO? HOG NATION TURNS ITS ANGRY EYES TO YOU. (WOO WOO WOOOOO.) [Blue Hog Report]
WHAT A TANGLED (WORLD WIDE) WEB WE WEAVE [Blue Hog Report]
Err on the Side of Allowing Speech [New York Times]