The Alliance for a Better Utah today called on the Utah Legislature to begin impeachment proceedings against Judge Scott Johansen. Better Utah also launched a citizens’ petition that can be found at http://abu.buzz/1OaSwCQ.
On November 11th, Judge Johansen ordered that a child be removed from the home of a married lesbian couple, claiming that the child would be better off in the home of a heterosexual couple over the objection of the foster parents, the Utah Division of Child and Family Services and the Guardian Ad Litem Office assigned to represent the child. After public outcry, Judge Johansen partially reversed his Order.
Judge Johansen has previously come under attack for his tactics. In 1997, Judge Johansen was reprimanded by the Utah Judicial Conduct Commission for “demeaning the judicial office” after slapping a 16-year-old boy during a 1995 meeting at the Price courthouse. In 2007, Judge Johansen was criticized for threatening to take a homeschooling mom’s children away if she failed to enroll them in public school and insure that they were in attendance every day. Johansen was also criticized in 2012 for ordering a woman to cut her 13-year-old daughter’s ponytail as punishment for the teen cutting the hair off a 3-year-old girl at a restaurant.
Josh Kanter, Founder and Board Chair of Better Utah said “If Judge Johansen wants to act like Judge Judy, then he should get a reality TV show. In the meantime, his past and present conduct is unbecoming of a judicial officer. It is not enough to simply refer to the Judge’s conduct as ‘puzzling’ and suggest that he must follow the law. Judge Johansen should be impeached and removed from office.”