Chauvin Judge Utterly Rips Maxine Waters
Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.
In an extraordinary display of candor and frustration, Peter Cahill, the judge presiding over the Derek Chauvin murder trial, commented on the conduct of Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) and other politicians like her who take to the airways to express incendiary opinions about ongoing, high-visibility trials.
The comments came in response to a motion for a mistrial brought by defense attorney Eric Nelson. Nelson proposed that the case should be retried based on the influence the press and the public was having on the jury. The motion was brought on Sunday and motivated, according to Nelson, by the countless comments he had received via email and otherwise regarding the attention the trial was garnering. Among the instigators of undue attention, Nelson specifically cited the call by Waters for protestors to engaged in acts of violence if the jury does not return with a first-degree murder conviction on Nelson.
In response, the judge, who rejected the motion, conceded, "I give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned."
Over the weekend, Waters traveled to the protests in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, to stoke the fires of anger. While there, she said the protestors and she were looking for a murder conviction. "No. No. No. Not manslaughter," she said, "This is guilty for murder. I don't know if it's in the first degree, but as far as I'm concerned it's in the first degree." When asked what protestors ought to do if the jury does not return with a murder conviction, Waters said, "We gotta stay on the streets, and we got to get more active. We got to get more confrontational. We need to make sure that they know that we mean business."
Judge Cahill went on to observe, "I'm aware of the media reports. I'm aware that Congresswoman Waters was talking specifically about this trial and about the unacceptability of anything less than a murder conviction. And talk about the being confrontational.
"This goes back to what I've been saying from the beginning. I wish elected officials would stop talking about this case, especially in a manner that is disrespectful to the rule of law and to the judicial branch in our function. I think if they want to give their opinions, they should do so in a respectful and in a manner that is consistent with their oath to the Constitution, to respect a coequal branch of government. The failure to do is, I think, is abhorrent, but I don't think it has prejudiced us with additional material that would prejudice this jury."
Waters' comments have inspired the ire of more than Judge Cahill. On Monday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced he will be introducing a resolution to censure Waters. However, with a highly partisan, morally defunct majority in the House of Representatives, there is little hope that the resolution will successfully make its way through the chamber. In fact, in a true display of spinelessness, Speaker of the House of Representative Nancy Pelosi said that Waters absolutely did not need to apologize for her comments.
Both Pelosi's and Waters' positions on this issue are emblematic of the corruptible state politics has reached in America. We are living in a time when leaders feel comfortable not representing the path towards righteousness and civility, calling for incivility and violence instead. Worse yet is the reason these figures dare to tread in this direction, namely that we, the American people, tolerate them and refuse to hold them to account. Until our own moral character changes, we will not be witnessing any substantial change in the conduct from these elected officials.
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Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He served in the Florida House of Representatives. He is the author of numerous books including The Federalist Pages, The Case for Free Market Healthcare, and Coronalessons. He is available for appearances and book signings, and can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com.