NJ Suspends Judge Who Told Domestic Violence Suspect: Men are ‘In Control’
TRENTON — A Newark judge who suggested to a domestic violence suspect that men are “in control” has been suspended without pay, two years after he made the comments.
The state Supreme Court announced Friday it adopted the recommendation of a panel on judicial conduct to suspend Municipal Court Judge Steven Brister for one month, beginning on Sept. 22.
The panel wrote in 2019 that Brister, who has served in both East Orange and Newark, told the man that men "can't punch, you can't hit. At best, you treat as if you're holding a feather, just to let them know you’re the man and you’re in control.”
The panel wrote that the comments violated conduct rules, were disparaging to women and could create the perception of bias. It also wrote that Brister allowed his personal religious beliefs to influence his judicial role because he referred to women as being created “with the curve of the rib of Adam.”
In a subsequent response to the panel's report, Brister didn't deny the remarks and called them “well-meaning but undeniably misguided,” and said he had completed several ethics courses.
An email message seeking comment was left Friday with an attorney who represented Brister.
Brister has been a practicing attorney since 1985. Pension records show that he earns a base salary of $70,000 from East Orange.