Judge Stephen Millan has received ardent backlash for having used the term “moolie” to describe a black defendant. The Miami-Dade Circuit magistrate is now facing a 30-day suspension and a $5,000 fine for his comments, which were first uttered in October 2016 whilst speaking with the defendant’s lawyer in his chamber.
Millan has admitted to his mistake, attributing the use of the term to his upbringing in New York. According to court officials, moolie, which is short form for “mulignan,” is a Sicilian racial slur that literally translates to “eggplant.” The word is used to describe black people or any other individual with a darker skin complexion.
While Millan agreed to undergo racial sensitivity training, Florida’s Justice Qualifications Commission believed that penalty was not stern enough. Now, the collective recommends that he receives a temporary suspension; however, it is ultimately up to the Supreme Court to hand out his punishment.
Millan specializes in immigration and bankruptcy cases, alongside criminal defence. “It was not unusual for my friends and I to occasionally use slur words when referring to others, including our friends and ourselves,” he revealed to the JQC.
Judge Kristina Marx, the JQC’s chair, notes how “the use of racially derogatory and demeaning language to describe litigants, criminal defendants or members of the public, even behind closed doors or during off-the-record conversations, erodes public confidence in a fair and impartial judiciary. The Commission is unswayed by Judge Millan’s testimony that he gained familiarity with the use of certain racial slurs during his youth.”