Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Congressman Cohen Says Criminal Court Judge Lammey Should be “held accountable”

May 13, 2019
Press Release
Offensive social media posts must be condemned

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, released a statement today in response to growing criticism and calls for consequences of Criminal Court Judge Jim Lammey’s racist and anti-Semitic posts on his personal social media accounts. Lammey reportedly disseminated the notion that Jews need to “get the f--- over the Holocaust” and that Muslims are “batsh— crazy.”

Congressman Cohen said:

“Judges have a sacred duty to perform their jobs without bias and with respect for all persons regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or country of origin.  Judges must be like Caesar’s wife, above reproach.  The public’s trust in our judicial system is paramount and such faith, once breached, is hard to rebuild.  Judge Jim Lammey’s use of his social media accounts to spread racist and anti-Semitic articles and memes breaches the public trust. Judge Lammey should be held accountable.”

The first Canon of Tennessee’s Code of Judicial Conduct says a judge “shall uphold and promote the independence, integrity and impartiality of the judiciary and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.” A rule associated with the second canon says a judge shall perform the duties of judicial office “without bias or prejudice.”

Groups including the NAACP Memphis branch, the Anti-Defamation League Southeast Region, the Memphis Islamic Center, Jewish Community Partners and the Tennessee Holocaust Commission have all condemned Lammey’s posts.

As a state senator, Cohen passed the legislation that created the Tennessee Holocaust Commission and served on it as an ex officio member until he was elected to Congress.