A Miami judge faces suspension for using the word “moolie” to describe an African American defendant.
According to the Miami Herald, Judge Stephen Millian is facing a 30-day suspension and a $5,000 fine for his comments, which were first uttered in October 2016 whilst speaking with the defendant’s lawyer in his chamber.
The 52-year-old, who is of Italian and Puerto Rican descent, attributed the use of the term to his upbringing in New York. Moolie, which is short for “mulignan,” is a Sicilian racial slur that translates to “eggplant.” It is used to describe people with a darker skin complexion.
Florida’s Justice Qualifications Commission believed Millian’s punishment was not stern enough, so they recommended he receive a temporary suspension; however, it is ultimately up to the Supreme Court to hand out his punishment.
Millian is also being disciplined for referring to another man’s supporters in court as “thugs.”
Judge Kristina Marx, the JQC’s chair, notes how “the use of racially derogatory and demeaning language to describe litigants, criminal defendants or members of the public, even behind closed doors or during off-the-record conversations, erodes public confidence in a fair and impartial judiciary. The Commission is unswayed by Judge Millan’s testimony that he gained familiarity with the use of certain racial slurs during his youth.”