Court reform advocacy group Fix the Court filed a misconduct complaint on Thursday against a federal appeals court judge who directed an attorney to remove his mask during an in-person hearing.
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Judge Jerry Smith, during a Jan. 6 proceeding, asked Department of Justice attorney Josh Koppel to remove his mask as he began his argument. Koppel asked in December to appear via Zoom rather than in-person, citing the spread of the Omicron variant and his two children who didn’t qualify for vaccinations at the time, but his motion was denied.
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