How long will it take our communities to exile social Neanderthals like Craig Northcutt to jobs where their bigotry and un-American values can only harm the people foolish enough to voluntarily associate with them?
Northcutt is the Coffee County (Tennessee) District Attorney, and a 2018 videotape reveals him saying such things as,
- Regarding the Supreme Court decision declaring it unconstitutional to prevent gay couples from marrying: “Five people in black dresses rule us — it just takes five votes, it doesn’t take all nine.”
That statement is per se moronic, as well as irresponsible.. A ruling by any judicial panel is just as binding and has exactly as much force in law regardless of the vote. Northcutt is encouraging defiance of the law.
- “DAs have what’s called prosecutorial discretion. Y’all need to know who your DA is. Y’all give us a lot of authority whether you know it or not, We can choose to prosecute anything, we can choose not to prosecute anything, up to and including murder. It’s our choice, unfettered. So, to deal with that, you elect a good Christian man as DA, and you’ll make sure at least [Christians] don’t get prosecuted criminally.”
Translation: “I’m biased, prejudiced, conflicted, and incapable of enforcing the law fairly and objectively., and don’t even want to, or know why I should”
- “Y’all know what assault is? There’s a subcategory of assault called domestic assault. But a domestic assault carries more punishment: You forever lose the right to own a gun under federal and state law, you have restrictions on your movement that you otherwise wouldn’t have under what we call ‘simple assault’ and there are other enhanced punishments. So the social engineers on the Supreme Court decided that we now have homosexual marriage. I disagree with them. What do I do with domestic assaults? One hand, I don’t prosecute them, because I don’t recognize it as marriage, on the other hand, if I don’t prosecute them, then the sinner, the immoral guy, gets less punishment, what do you do?”
He appears to be saying that he will not prosecute domestic abuse between gay couples because he refuses to recognize the marriage, but he might prosecute just to make sure a gay abuser gets punished.
More recently on Facebook, the DA opined, regarding the rights of Muslims in the U.S.:
“There are no constitutional rights. There are God given rights protected by the constitution. If you don’t believe in the one true God, there is nothing to protect.”
180 Tennessee attorneys have signed an open letter calling on the bar association to investigate these statements. The Council on American-Islamic Relations also asked the disciplinary board to investigate Northcott.
In fact, he should resign. The statement about Muslims having no rights under the Constitution as well as his implication that he will not treat same-sex marriages as legal are declarations that he will defy the law. It is hard to find a provision in the Tennessee Rules that directly applies, but it is there…you just have to burrow into the Comments (Comments aren’t rules, exactly) to find it. Like most, but not all, U.S. jurisdictions, Tennessee includes Rule 8.4 d in its Rules of Professional Conduct governing lawyers, which declares that a lawyer (including a prosecutor) must not..
(d) engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of
Words, however, are not always regarded as conduct, and bar associations are increasingly wary about their rules being declared unconstitutional. Fortunately, the Comments to Rule 8.4 states,
A lawyer who, in the course of representing a client, knowingly manifests, by words or conduct, bias or prejudice based on race, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, or socio economic status violates paragraph (d) when such actions are prejudicial to the administration of justice.
That looks like a slam dunk to me.
I wonder if DA Northcutt has ever read his Rules of Professional Conduct?