Notoriously sexist and racist federal judge kicked off discrimination case

Meet U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes, whose vocal sexism is so relentless it's made of him a rare beast: a federal judge kicked off a case by his superiors.

A judge with a history of belittling women has been yanked from a sex discrimination case by an appellate panel that said he "suffocated" a female plaintiff's access to fundamental fairness. The case began going downhill when U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes quipped he would "get credit for closing two cases when I crush you."

Finding he had prejudged and been "arbitrary and unreasonable," the 5th U.S. Circuit ruled on Friday that Hughes should be removed from ruling on a psychology professor's challenges against two universities and another judge must start from scratch. The cases have been re-assigned to Judge Andrew S. Hanen.

Not his first rodeo, of course. In 2018, he was rebuked by the same appeals court for "deameaning" and "inappropriate" remarks about women.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit scolded a veteran judge for making sexist comments in his Houston courtroom, calling his remarks "demeaning, inappropriate, and beneath the dignity" of his profession.

Here's what he said in that case: "It was a lot simpler when you guys wore dark suits, white shirts and navy ties… We didn't let girls do it in the old days."

He's racist, too, as detailed in this 2013 story posted by the Houston Chronicle.

In another discrimination case brought by an African-American school employee against the Fort Bend Independent School district, Hughes dismissed alleged comments made by the plaintiff's supervisor that if Barack Obama were elected president, the Statue of Liberty would have its torch replaced by a piece of fried chicken. … A 5th Circuit panel of judges disagreed, pointing out that Hughes seemed to fail to grasp the implicit racial slur.

"When (Albert) Autry's lawyer tentatively suggested that Johnson's alleged reference to fried chicken was 'a long-standing racial slur,' the district judge rejoined that 'That's really surprising to Colonel Sanders.' "

Here he is dismissing the case of a woman fired for asking for a private place to breastfeed:

"Even if Venters's claims are true," Hughes wrote in his opinion, "the law does not punish lactation discrimination."