The Missississippi Commission on Judicial Performance sought to reprimand Forrest County Justice Court Judge Gay Polk-Payton for her social media activity and for a book she authored. Judge Polk-Payton's attorneys, David McCarty and Oliver Diaz, asked the ACLU of Mississippi to participate in the case as "amicus curiae" to help the Mississippi Supreme Court properly evaluate and decide the First Amendment free speech issues. Legal Director Paloma Wu and Staff Attorney Joshua Tom authored a brief highlighting the free speech issues and argued that Judge Polk-Payton could not be reprimanded as her speech was protected by the First Amendment. Mr. Tom participated in oral argument before the Mississippi Supreme Court. The day after oral argument, the Court in a short opinion decided for Judge Polk-Payton and held that she could not be reprimanded for her speech.
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