By Rebecca Everett nj.com
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The New Jersey Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct said in a formal complaint that Judge Steven Brister’s speech about how men should treat women was “inappropriate, disparaging to women and had the potential to create the appearance of a gender bias.”
A municipal court judge is facing ethics charges after he told a male defendant accused of domestic violence that when men “get frustrated" with women they need to treat them like “a feather” and not resort to hitting like a boxer.
“Just to let them know you’re the man and you’re in control,” Judge Steven Brister said during a proceeding in Newark municipal court earlier this year.
The New Jersey Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct said in a formal complaint released Thursday that Brister’s speech about how men should treat women was “inappropriate, disparaging to women and had the potential to create the appearance of a gender bias.”
Brister serves as a judge in courts in East Orange and Newark.
The committee said Brister made the following comments to a defendant Feb. 21 after noting that he had multiple domestic violence matters on his record:
“I’m going to tell you what I tell a lot of people with this same charge. Because all of these charges are the same. We, as men, and I can speak to you as a man, 'cause I am a man as well. We get frustrated with the women human beings. Because we try to straighten out a creation 'cause they was created with a curve.
But we as men, we think we above creation and we can straighten it out. No matter how much you try, or how you try to straighten out that curve, you can never do it. We get frustrated and then but, in our frustration you can’t come at them like you Mike Tyson and they’re in the ring like they’re Leon Spinks. You can’t do it. You can’t punch, you can’t hit. At best, you treat as if you’re holding a feather, just to let them know you’re the man and you’re in control. But in each of these five complaints it said you went at them like Mike Tyson.”
The complaint noted that Brister tried to explain his comments at a conference before the committee July 30, where he was asked what he meant by saying women were created with a curve.
"But when I was young, I was altar boy and so it says Adam was created from the curved rib of a man. So if you believe in a creation from a higher power, then that curve is the creation of the woman with the curve of the rib of Adam."
The committee ruled that he was bringing his religious beliefs into his role as a judge, which violated the judicial code of conduct. He also violated the code by acting in a way that wasn’t dignified, impartial or up to the high standards of the position, the committee wrote.
A call to Brister’s law office in Union County was not immediately returned Thursday.
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