On Tuesday, May 23, 2023, the Court of Judicial Discipline of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania issued an order setting the trial of the disciplinary matter concerning Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Judge Mark B. Cohen of the 1st Judicial District.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Judge Mark B. Cohen,” with case no. 1 JD 2023.
The Judicial Conduct Board filed formal charges against Cohen on February 23, 2023, accusing Cohen to have authored and made improper posts to his personal Facebook page. In summary, Judge Cohen’s Facebook posting consisted of the following: (1) his sympathetic, supportive, or positive views of political figures, living and dead, of the Democratic Party and, generally, of the political “left”; (2) his support for legislation instituted and embraced by the Democratic Party and, generally, the political “left”; (3) his support for policy initiatives or issues embraced by the Democratic Party and, generally, the political “left”; (4) his criticism of political figures of the Republican Party and the political “right”; and (5) his criticism of policy initiatives and legislation instituted and embraced by the Republican Party or the political “right”.
In his response, Cohen denied that his posts were made within the First Amendment of the Constitution and that they were not improper.
On the other hand. the Judicial Conduct Board of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania filed a reply and memorandum of law to the new matter of the respondent requesting the court to dismiss the same.
According to the Court of Judicial Discipline’s order, The parties involved in this case are required to submit pre-trial memoranda on or before July 6, 2023, and serve a copy on the opposing counsel. The pre-trial memoranda should include the names and addresses of all witnesses who are expected to testify at trial, a list of exhibits intended to be introduced at trial, stipulations to which opposing counsel can agree, and certifications from each party. The pre-trial conference will be conducted on Thursday, July 13, 2023, at 11 a.m., and the trial will begin on Monday, July 24, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. in the Commonwealth Court Courtroom.
Judge Cohen is a judge in the Court of Common Pleas of the First Judicial District of Philadelphia County located at 400 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19107, and can be reached at +1 215-686-7000. His info can be found on ballotpedia.org.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.