"no tickee, no laundry"... no reappointment.

A few weeks back, a Superior Court judge in New Jersey, Fred Kieser Jr., was criticized by a key Senate committee considering his reappointment to the bench for directing a racial slur at a plaintiff in a child-support case and calling her daughter "a sponge."

Senators scold judge for remarks on child support

Basically, Kieser told the woman, "no tickee, no laundry" after she failed to provide proof of her daughter's college enrollment. Yeah. Stupid. The weird thing is, the woman is not Asian:

Judge Fred Kieser Jr. of Metuchen admitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee he told a woman seeking payment for her daughter's tuition at Middlesex County College in 2005 that her ex-husband "should not be treated as a cash register, that this is not a free lunch."

He also told the woman "no tickee, no laundry," a racial slur mocking Chinese laundry services that require a claim ticket before returning clothes, after she failed to provide proof of her daughter's enrollment at the two-year school, Kieser said. "I also indicated that the petitioner's daughter was a sponge," he said.

Kieser was privately admonished for the remarks in October 2005 by the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct, said state judiciary spokeswoman Tamara Kendig. A private admonishment is done when the committee finds a judge's conduct does not merit a public hearing but believes it would reflect unfavorably on the office if it became habitual.

It brings up an interesting question. Is the remark really racially insensitive if it's directed towards someone who isn't Asian? Is it racist? Or just phenomenally stupid? I believe Kieser's lame defense of himself pretty much solidified my view on the matter:

Kieser, 67, a registered Republican whose initial seven-year term began April 2, 2001, said the remarks came on a day when he had a heavy caseload, had not eaten lunch and had to deal with the pain of a broken tooth that was set to be fixed later that afternoon.

Still, Kieser said, he did not be lieve the comments were inherently racist: "The litigants were African Americans and the racial slur, I think, was a slur against Asians. Again, there's no excuse for it. All I'm saying is there is a difference, at least in my mind there is."

"The best way to explain it," he said at another point, "was to say I had a bad day."

Ah, I see. Basically, you were having a bad day, got cranky, and racist side came out to play. "No tickee, no laundry"? Goodness, who even says that anymore? It's absolutely ignorant, and a judge has no business saying that in a courtroom—or anywhere else.

And wouldn't you know it? New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine agreed. Last week, the governor withdrew Kieser's reappointment for failing "to demonstrate the proper judgment" in making those remarks: Corzine dumps judge for racial slur. I guess that means another bad day for Kieser.

angry archive