Investigation: Travis County Judge can wear political symbols

Judge wears political symbol in court

AUSTIN,TX - A Reddit post showing Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt wearing a pink 'cat ear' hat in the courtroom quickly jumped to the top of the Austin subreddit Tuesday.

The photo showed Eckhardt wearing the hat, that has been associated with the Women's march and Rally and other pro-women groups.

While many of the commenters supported Eckhardt's choice, others questioned whether a judge should wear such polarizing clothing.

"Seems inappropriate to put your personal political beliefs on display as a judge," one user wrote on the page.

"It's about being unbiased, not professional. Imagine if tomorrow she had to rule over a case of a Women's March participant who punched a conservative whoever."

But, as other reddit users pointed out on the page, County Judge Sarah Eckhardt isn't really a judge in the normal sense of the word.

In Travis County, the "County Judge" position is an elected role. The winner of the election oversees the commissioners court and is in many ways a commissioner themselves.

Similar to a City Council and mayor relationship, the County Judge acts as the head of the Commissioners and county government.

KVUE's Jason Puckett reached out to multiple county departments to verify that this behavior was acceptable and found that almost every source he spoke with agreed - Eckhardt is in the clear.

The County Attorney officially said they have not received any sort of complaint at this time.

When asked to comment on the story, County Judge Eckhardt's office said "No Comment".

The reddit post referenced in this article has been partially deleted, but can be found here.

For a look at the video or agenda of Tuesday's Commissioner meeting, check the County Clerk's website here.

 

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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