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Judge Rapped for Biased Remarks

January 26, 1979
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Jewish Community Relations Council, Anti-Defamation League of Minnesota and the Dakotas, at its board meeting last week, voted to file a formal complaint with me Minnesota State Board on Judicial Standards concerning Judge. C. William Sykora’s recent remarks to an alleged shoplifter According to the complaint, he had told the defendant, a survivor of the Nazi Holocaust, “Well, with your experience over in Germany — and was over there and saw some of those concentration camps — if anybody, if anything would teach a person to learn and obey the law, I would think that it would be that.”

The complaint stated that “the Jewish community was shocked and disturbed” by the Judge’s remarks, and that he “not only demeaned her (the defendant) as a person, but was an affront to the entire Jewish community.” It was added that Judge Sykora “reflects a total lack of understanding of Nazi Germany and the perversion of law under that tyrannical regime, and of the process that inevitably led to genocide.”

During the Hitler era, “more than 400 decrees and edicts were issued and lows passed against Germany’s Jewish citizens, which ultimately led to the destruction of much of European Jewry as well as the deaths of millions of non-Jews,” the complaint stated. “The experience of Nazi Germany and its debasement of the law should never be invoked as a lesson for obedience to the law in our society. Such an equation is an affront to the citizenry of any society that reveres the law concluded by urging that the Minnesota State Board on Judicial Standards take “appropriate action” because the Judge as brought his “office into disrepute.”

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