- Associated Press - Monday, March 26, 2018

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A state judge who told convicted felons that once they get their voting rights back they can cast ballots for President Donald Trump in 2020 defended her actions Monday and said the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline found no misconduct in the comments she made last summer.

The Fair Elections Legal Network, the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada and the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada filed complaints Friday with the commission, accusing Clark County District Court Judge Susan Johnson of “off-hand campaigning from the bench.”

Johnson, who was elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2014, said she challenges criminal defendants to overcome their pasts and succeed in their futures. She said she is proud of her unblemished ethical record.

The groups said recently-obtained court transcripts show that Johnson violated rules of judicial conduct by suggesting to three separate defendants last July and August that they’d be able to vote for Trump once they complete terms of felony probation and have their civil rights restored.

Commission officials declined to comment about whether there is an active investigation.

The complaint was first reported by the Nevada Independent.

The advocacy groups said Nevada is one of 10 states that require a judge to rule on restoration of civil rights for some or all ex-felons.

Nevada prohibits voting by people convicted of a violent felony unless they receive permission from a court to have their rights restored.


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