Judge Esther Salas is the first Latina federal judge in all of NJ. She’s a star. In 2018 she blocked ICE from deporting Indonesian immigrants and she’s presiding over the prosecuting of Deutsche Bank for accommodating bad customers like Epstein (but don’t indulge in conspiracy theories).
On July 19th, she was destroyed — her son murdered and husband shot — by a man who hates women. By a man who calls our most basic law to not be violent toward women, VAWA, the “Female Fraud Act.” He’s sued Columbia for having Women’s Studies courses and bars for “women’s nights.” He has said about the men’s movement that “there is one remaining source of power in which men still have a near monopoly — firearms.” He has an encyclopedia on the web with entries such as “female parasites” “Feminazi, fear fascist, Feminazi Establishment, Feminarchy, Estrogen Tyranny.” Under his entry for “Rape” he says “girls often have second thoughts when they wake up in the morning, so to justify their stupidity, they call it rape.”
The murderer’s hatred knows no bounds. And like with Elliott Rogers, it was completely available to the public to see in all the frivolous anti-feminist lawsuits he filed and his 1,700 page book where the NYT says he rants about Judge Salas, calling her “a lazy and incompetent Latina judge appointed by Obama.” When will more folks see that the combination of deep and obsessive misogyny and obsession with guns is dangerous and murderous?
I’m going to bet that Judge Salas has gone to the police about this murderer’s threats in the past. And that they told her he was within his first amendment rights to rant about her, a public figure. They probably told her, as they’ve told me and my clients, that the rantings didn’t contain actual threats – with time and place and method. And therefore are not illegal and are protected speech.
But that’s what’s so f*cked up.
Online rantings and obsessive unhinged hatred ARE threats that do put folks in actual fear and should be recognized as such in the law. I don’t know a single woman or woman-identifying lawyer, judge, politician, or journalist doing path-forging work who is not at times completely overwhelmed and clobbered by online hatred and rants by men who are obsessed with guns and murder.
There’s a website with screenshots of the floor plan of my home, the walking route from my office to my home, folks declaring a “jihad” against my firm, plotting how to rape members of my staff. Others organize to give one-star reviews of my books on Good Reads and make horrifically racist drawings of members of my staff having sex with each other. Usually it’s after I tweet something they don’t like. There’s an actual fear that one of them is coming to shoot me or my family.
Women with careers in the law is a new thing. Only a few decades old. We haven’t gotten to be attorneys or judges or even plaintiffs who get to shape it or politicians who legislate for very long at all. We don’t have tomes of women perspectives on the common law like Blackstone and Coke. The same is true for People of Color. We’re all newcomers here. So when a woman and POC is targeted and her family murdered for being a judge, it’s an unbearable loss.
Judge Salas, BECAUSE of her perspective as a POC and woman, was good at her job. Who knows what a white male federal judge would have ruled about ICE? We all need to protect our women and POC in law. He may not have murdered her, but he sure took her off the bench and those of us with families we love would agree she suffered a fate worse than death.
Tell a female identifying and/or POC lawyer or judge, politician or journalist you love them today.