the news that WUNC broke yesterday afternoon about NC Supreme Court Justice Anita Earls ... that she is being investigated by the Judicial Standards Commission for comments she made to a legal news publication (what? where's a link?) that North Carolina's court system has a "poor track record on diversity and inclusion efforts." According to WUNC, she pointed out "a lack of diversity among judicial clerks and criticized the Supreme Court’s recent decision to disband its Commission on Fairness and Equity."
The Republicans on the Judicial Standards Commission, led by Court of Appeals judges Chris Dillon and Jeff Carpenter, have decided to be deeply offended by Earls' wholly accurate observations and have suggested that such comments by Earls is an unacceptable breach of judicial restraint. Dillon and Carpenter are looking into whether Earls violated confidentiality rules by making public comments "about matters before the court." They also question whether she violated a code of conduct that requires judges to promote "public confidence" in the integrity of the courts.
Apparently, the circus monkeys got on Earls' last nerve, for she has sued the commission to stop harassing her. "Her attorneys wrote that the commission is misinterpreting the code of conduct in an attempt to silence her." “The Commission’s actions in instituting the investigation indicate that it believes that ‘promot[ing] public confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary,’ is best accomplished by threatening judges who speak out about what they view as imperfections or defects in the judicial system and who do so in a measured and nuanced manner,” the lawsuit said. “Nothing could be more inimical to the First Amendment.”