An Ontario Court judge wore a “Make America Great Again” hat in his courtroom the day after the U.S. election to mark president-elect Donald Trump’s “historic” victory, according to a source in the room.
Ontario Court Justice Bernd Zabel arrived at the John Sopinka courthouse in Hamilton on Wednesday morning wearing Mr. Trump’s signature campaign hat, according to the source, and addressed the numerous lawyers, police officers and defendants. Another witness in the courtroom did not dispute the details.
The incident has prompted an outcry from legal observers who say Justice Zabel’s political display undermines the public’s confidence in judicial impartiality. And they are particularly upset because Mr. Trump has made disparaging remarks about women and minorities.
“The clerk said ‘all rise’ and the door opens and Justice Zabel comes out. He is in a black silk robe with the crimson sash and the white tie. He has a poppy on his lapel. And he is wearing a scarlet-coloured baseball cap that says Make America Great Again. And we all stand because we are supposed to stand when the judge comes in and he looks at everyone and said he was wearing the hat ‘because last night was an historic occasion,’” the source told The Globe and Mail.