AfD: Judge Jens Maier should retire, judges the court – politics

The AfD politician Jens Maier should not return to the office of judge according to the will of the judge service court in Leipzig. The judges decided in the hearing on Thursday that Maier’s retirement was permissible in the interests of the administration of justice, thereby confirming a preliminary decision from March. The presiding judge Hanns-Christian John said at the verdict: “He is no longer acceptable as a judge.” The public’s trust in the person of the judge has been damaged to such an extent that his case law no longer appears credible.

The Justice Department had requested the retirement. Anyone who is viewed by state authorities as a right-wing extremist cannot be a credible representative of the justice be more, argued Minister of Justice Katja Meier (Greens). On Thursday, the judges based their judgment on Maier’s exposed position in the now-defunct “wing” of the AfD. It also doesn’t matter that this happened during Maier’s time as a member of parliament, when his civil service was suspended. The duty of good conduct still applies. Meier said after the verdict: “The decision is trend-setting nationwide. It is clear that enemies of the constitution are not allowed to speak justice in this country.”

AfD politicians: The Leipzig service court for judges, chaired by Hanns-Christian John (centre), is in the courtroom of the Leipzig Regional Court before the start of the process.

The Leipzig service court for judges, chaired by Hanns-Christian John (center), is in the courtroom of the Leipzig Regional Court before the trial begins.

(Photo: Hendrik Schmidt/dpa)

Jens Maier’s lawyer Jochen Lober had previously argued that one had to wait for the verdict in another procedure. Before the administrative court in Dresden, Maier defended himself against the classification as a right-wing extremist in the report for the protection of the constitution. In addition, there is no precise definition of who is a right-wing extremist. The judges did not agree. The Ministry of Justice asserted that the right-wing extremist label did not matter. Maier expresses an attitude that is in “tension to the judiciary”. The rule of law must be protected by its representatives and not fought. Maier’s announcement of a return to the office of judge almost triggered a judicial crisis in the spring.

Inhuman and racist rhetoric

The 60-year-old lost his mandate in the 2021 federal election and then wanted to return to the Saxon judiciary as a judge. The Ministry of Justice then assigned him a post as a district judge in Dippoldiswalde and at the same time applied to the judges’ service court to prohibit him from exercising official business. Before becoming a member of parliament, Maier, who comes from Bremen, worked at the Dresden District Court. There is a parallel disciplinary process against him. It could also deal with the question of whether Maier loses his salary.

In order to clarify whether Maier is a danger to the administration of justice, the lawyers went through individual appearances and speeches in detail at the hearing on Thursday, as well as social media postings from his account. His defense attorney argued that many of these were not made by Maier himself, but by employees. This was irrelevant for the judges, because the public equated Maier’s official account with his person.

The judges were also unable to recognize the “recognisable irony” cited by Lober in Maier’s statement: “Anyone who is not defamed as a right-wing extremist in these times is doing something wrong”. Maier’s statement: “If the accused fear AfD judges, we’ve done everything right,” gives the impression that as a judge he will be guided by party political attitudes. Maier also used inhuman and racist terms several times, which reinforced the impression of “a person not suitable for the office of judge”. He deliberately adopted the vocabulary of right-wing extremists.

The verdict is not yet final, an appeal to the Federal Service Court is possible. Lober said: “After the verdict is before the verdict.” Maier himself did not appear in court on Thursday.

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