By Miriam Raftery
February 26, 2020 (San Diego) ---According to the American Bar Association’s model code of judicial ethics, “A judge shall uphold and promote the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.” Judges are also supposed to refrain from most political activities.
The rules are in place so that all parties coming before a judge can have faith their case will be decided without prejudice based on race, national origin, gender, religion, politics, or anything other than the facts in their case.
But Shawn McMillan, a candidate for San Diego Superior Court, has posted numerous memes on his Facebook page with racist, sexist, anti-Muslim and homophobic themes as well as posts bashing Democrats.
One meme refers to Barack Obama, the nation’s first African-American president, as “racist.”
McMillan also retweeted a message from the Minuteman Militia, an anti-immigrant group, depicting photos of Kamala Harris, Colin Kaepernick and Monica Lewinsky with a message that reads, “When nobody knew who you were until you got on your knees.”
A sexist post suggesting only women should do housework states, “The more chores a husband does, the more likely a marriage is to end in divorce.”
Another meme bashing transgender persons reads, “How do you stop gender confusion? Look in your underwear.”
Yet another of his posts asks, “Why do feminists like Ilhan Omar continue to wear the hijab…”
He voices anti-undocumented immigrant sentiments in a post reading, "Stop all welfare to illegal aliens and they'll deport themselves."
He also likens Governor Gavin Newsom promise to find the cause of the gas price incease to "OJ promising to find the real killer," a reference to O.J. Simpson, who was tried but acquitted for the murder of his ex-girlfriend.
McMillan did not return ECM's request for comments. Howver, KPBS spoke with McMillan, who admitted the posts were his. He acknowledged that they were “insensitive” adding, “Had I known before November that I would be jumping into politics…I have been like all the other candidates and kept all my views secret and hidden from everybody.” He has since removed the posts, or made them inaccessible to the public.
McMillan was recently rated “lacking qualifications” by the San Diego County Bar Association, which did not provide the specific reason, but which may withhold positive ratings if it finds a judicial candidate “presently not possessing professional ability, experience, competence, integrity and/or temperament indicating ability to perform the judicial function.”
The judicial candidate even posted tips on how to beat speeding tickets.
His posts were first revealed by San Diego Democrats for Equality, which published some of the controversial posts.
McMillan, a plaintiff's civil rights attorney, is running in district 36 against Michelle Ialeggio, a deputy district attorney. She is rated exceptionally well qualified by the San Diego County Bar Association.
View our coverage of other judicial races: https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/county-bar-association-ranks-judicial-candidates-shawn-mcmillan-and-steve-miller-%E2%80%9Clacking
The County Bar Association offers evaulations of judicial candidates in this and other local races: https://www.sdcba.org/index.cfm?pg=JudicialEvaluations.