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Misconduct Complaint Filed Against Texas Judge in Hate Group Training Case

Misconduct Complaint Filed Against Texas Judge in Hate Group Training Case

Misconduct Complaint Filed Against Texas Judge in Hate Group Training Case

The judge had ordered three attorneys for Southwest Airlines to take “religious liberty” training from an SPLC-designated hate group.

A judicial advocacy group on Tuesday filed a judicial misconduct complaint against the Texas federal judge overseeing a religious liberty case involving Southwest Airlines.

Fix the Court claimed the judge’s decision is not “reasonable” and violates the canon that “a judge should perform the duties of the office fairly, impartially and diligently.” The complaint also said the judge should be “admonished by the Judicial Council and should be compelled not to assign such a strange and unprecedented penalty again.”

U.S. District Court Judge Brantley Starr, a Trump appointee, recently ordered three attorneys representing the airline to undergo “religious-liberty training” from Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a conservative legal and judicial advocacy group that was described by its founder as “Christian legal army.” The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled ADF a hate group for its anti-LGBTQ+ positions and efforts. ADF has claimed the “homosexual agenda” will destroy Christianity and has lobbied against LGBTQ+ rights.

The recent ruling by Starr originates from a 2021 case brought by former flight attendant Charlene Carter against Southwest and the Transport Union Workers (TUW). Carter, who describes herself as a Christian opposed to abortion, was terminated after criticizing TUW’s involvement in the 2017 Women’s March, which was sponsored by Planned Parenthood.

Carter sent videos of purported aborded fetuses to the TUW president and made posts to Facebook that many found offensive.

“You truly are Despicable in so many ways,” she said in one of the messages.

Carter was subsequently fired but filed suit saying she was wrongly discriminated against for expressing her religious beliefs.

She lost in arbitration, but a Dallas jury found in her favor and initially awarded $1.5 million, which was later reduced to $800,000.

Last year, Starr ordered Southwest to “inform Southwest flight attendants that, under Title VII, they may not discriminate against Southwest flight attendants for their religious practices and beliefs, including – but not limited to – those expressed on social media and those concerning abortion.”

Southwest instead told flight attendants that it “does not discriminate” and a memo drafted by the three attorneys said the social media policy used by the airline to terminate Carter was still in effect.

On Monday, Starr blasted Southwest in a 29-page ruling that ordered three attorneys for Southwest to attend “religious liberty” training from ADF.

Starr was appointed to the bench by Trump in 2019 and confirmed the same year. He was formerly the assistant attorney general of Texas, and is the nephew of former Clinton independent counsel Ken Starr.

FTC called out the nature of Starr’s ruling in its complaint saying, “Starr’s order sets a dangerous precedent, and he deserves sanctions himself for this awful judgment call.”

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