Vince Sicari, a 44-year-old judge in South Hackensack, N.J., has been in court recently defending his right to moonlight as a stand-up comic. On Sept. 19, the New Jersey Supreme Court handed down their decision in the case.
According to Reuters, the ruling stated that the Honorable Vince Sicari, who is also known by his stage name, Vince August, could not be a judge and a professional comedian. He would have to choose between the two.
The judge’s comic gigs include frequent appearances as an actor on TV’s “What Would You Do?” plus regular stand up appearances at the iconic comedy club Caroline’s in New York City.
Sicari reportedly earned $13,000 a year as a part-time judge, but depended on his acting and comedy gigs to pay the bills and his health insurance.
Part of the court’s problem, is that many of the characters Sicari plays on TV are offensive and include “a homophobic bar patron and a racially profiling security guard.”
"The concern is whether an ordinary member of the public can divorce the comedy routine or the roles played by Vince August from Judge Sicari," the court wrote.
The court ultimately decided that those appearing before Sicari in court would find it difficult “to believe that he can remain impartial and objective.”
So, having to choose between the two professions, Sicari “said he accepted the decision and would immediately resign from the bench.”
Sicari had argued that he kept the two professions separate, and never joked in court, or joked about court while on stage.
Sicari released a statement saying:
"I am hopeful that all involved feel that I have served the judiciary with the honor and distinction that it deserves."
You can like Vince August on Facebook.
For more on the joking judge Vince Sicari's court ruling, see the video accompanying this article.
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