Litigants and activists are touting courtroom recordings and testimonials in an outcry against a recent Trump federal court nominee in Arizona.
Judge Scott Rash was nominated for U.S. District Judge for the District of Arizona by President Trump in 2019. Following Trump’s nomination, The Daily Caller received a tip from a court watcher about Rash’s courtroom temper. The tip led to eight people coming forward alleging to be victims or witnesses of what they allege to be a history of anti-woman bullying from Rash. Interviews with critics who have observed Judge Rash and recordings paint a picture of tyrannical judge, quick tempered, who refuses to hear all evidence, and shows an anti-female bias.
In this audio recording, Judge Rash screams at a female litigant.
He continues to have support of powerful Republicans, like Arizona Republican Senator Martha McSally. McSally did not respond to multiple messages left at her Washington D.C. office.
“Judge Rash currently serves with distinction on the Pima County Superior Court in my hometown of Tucson … Judge Rash has earned the respect of his colleagues on the court with his fairness, hard work, and willingness to take on difficult tasks,” McSally said during the hearing.
A US Department of Justice spokesperson issued this statement to the Daily Caller, “Judge Rash is exceptionally well-qualified for the federal bench, having presided over nearly 6,000 civil, criminal, and family court matters since beginning his service as an Arizona state court judge in 2010. In addition to his long service on Arizona’s courts, the American Bar Association rated Judge Rash unanimously “well-qualified” after evaluating professional characteristics including professional competence, integrity, and judicial temperament. The Department of Justice looks forward to Judge Rash’s confirmation.”
Those who have appeared in his courtroom painted a different picture.
The Daily Caller also obtained recordings between a litigant and her attorney in which the attorney advised securing male courtroom representation because, “I think Rash is a little bit more pro-male.”
The attorney also said Rash ignored multiple reports from a physician to social services, while accepting the arguments of the ex-husband’s attorney as the truth.
Mavis Schmoll laid out a similar experience.
“I tried to explain to him the abuse, he’s beating me up basically,” Schmoll said, “The judge said, ‘I don’t want to hear any of that.’”
Schmoll shared daughter’s 2015 diary entries; in one, the girl describes Schmoll’s ex-husband encouraging her to self-harm and in another he allegedly drugged her, causing her to pass out.
Schmoll also provided a photo of a bruise on her daughter’s arm to The Daily Caller. But Schmoll said Rash refused to allow this and other evidence of abuse into evidence.
Rash was moved from the family court docket to criminal court in December 2019, but Schmoll was one of the last litigants before the move.
He granted her ex-husband sole custody as one of his final acts.
Broadway said that Rash was one of at least five judges she stood before, but she described Rash much like the other women did.
“Rash had yelled at me before. He told me to shut up,” Broadway said, “I had proof; I had evidence and Rash just ignored all that.”
Broadway said when she appeared in front of another judge, the judge repeatedly referred to Judge Rash’s decisions as he bullied and belittled her. The recording backs up her claim.
Even though the judge first said her ex-husband had currently not had any custody time, the judge then claimed that Broadway was constantly interfering with his custody time, along with purportedly making false allegations of abuse, referring to details Rash had noted.
That audio is below.
Broadway also summarized her case to the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (ACESDV).
The ACESDV did not respond to a message left at their office.
Collins said she was in front of Judge Rash for an order of protection she wanted granted against her ex-boyfriend.
Collins said that Rash dismissed the order for protection, which would bar him from owning a gun, because her ex-boyfriend told the judge he needed it because he used a gun for his employment.
Collins said this is a lie but furthermore, Judge Rash never asked her ex-boyfriend for any proof.
The transcripts from that hearing confirm that Judge Rash dismissed the order for protection without asking for any proof of employment.
“I am a certified NRA firearms instructor and I do CCW training, and this is just her way of hurting me. She has harassed my landlord, my neighbors. She has gone out of her way to make my life a living hell, and I have done nothing but break up with her,” her ex-boyfriend tells Judge Rash.
Upon hearing that, Judge Rash states, “All right. I’m going to dismiss the current petition for failure to appear.”
Collins said she did not appear at the hearing because her attorney told her she did not have to appear.
Letter to Trump
President Trump has also received at least one letter begging to reconsider his nomination of Judge Rash.
The letter, written by Christa Isom, states in part, “There is an epidemic in our city, Mr. President and Judge Rash is a large part of our corruption. He does not deserve your nomination and to do so is a slap in the face to the families he has destroyed. He does not deserve to be rewarded for what he is doing. Judge Rash is a woman-hater with a nasty temper that he is famous for losing in court. I have seen it. My attorney has seen it and so has my friend Felicia, who just had her sons taken from her and given to the abusive father, also by Judge Rash.”
Isom, in an interview with the Caller, said that while she has not been a litigant in his courtroom, she has been in his courtroom to observe other cases.
“He’s not a good man. He’s anti women,“ Isom said, “He yells at women. He yelled at an attorney and said, ‘I know why I don’t like you, you remind me of my ex-wife.”
“He’s extremely unprofessional,” she continued, “We’re all kind of afraid of Judge Rash.”
Arizona Judicial Council
The Arizona Judicial Council plans to produce evaluations of Judge Rash and others in April.
Sheryll Prokop, the program manager for the Arizona Judicial Council, said the evaluation will be released in April and is embargoed until then.
The Daily Caller received four evaluations of Judge Rash which were submitted to the AJC, all of them negative.
Felicia Chew, another litigant, submitted an evaluation stating in part, “Judge Rash was assigned to my case, where I am the Petitioner. Judge Rash has yelled at me in the Courtroom on several occasions, and has ruled without evidentiary hearing, resulting in dangerous situations that were detrimental to my health, and the health of my child. He has also refused to protect me and my son from my ex-husband who has been found guilty twice of domestic violence in the Tucson City Courts.”
“He made some rulings without having clear and convincing evidence.” Chew told the Caller about Rash, “When it came to his rulings, if I violated a ruling, he was saying he would give me sanctions, if my husband violated a ruling, he wouldn’t really respond.”
Chew said she tried present to Rash incidents of abuse, including an arrest by her ex-husband on his step-daughter, but Judge Rash refused to hear any of this evidence.
Chew said her situation came to a head in 2019 when her son refused to go back to his father; as a result, she now faces multiple felony charges for custodial interference.
Chew denied the charges in a response to the court.
Another one submitted by Malinda Sherwyn states in part, “I am a court watcher and advocate and have had occasion to accompany women into the courtroom of Judge Rash. He is temperamental and a screamer violates the Canons. Exculpatory evidence offered to Judge Rash by parents that could clear their names and protect their children is repeatedly rejected by him, including expert witness testimony and documentation of battery and sexual abuse. This appears to be a pattern of practice of Judge Rash.”
Sherwyn also spoke out against Judge Rash at a hearing held by the Arizona Judicial Council. That video is below.
The judicial rating website, The Robing Room, has two ratings, both claiming he shows bias, “Very unprofessional and biased. Does not listen to the facts and makes decisions personal. Contradicts himself in the court and when the contradiction is addressed he angers and threatens the litigants. Does not make decisions in best interest of minors involved and belittles and shuts up the litigant because he isn’t tired of listening. Abuses power when upset against people.”
A call left with Judge Rash’s chambers was forwarded to Krisanne LoGalbo, the Community Relations Coordinator at the Arizona Superior Court in Pima County/Pima County Juvenile Court Center. She declined to comment for this story.
Judge Rash is also a member of the Federalist Society and a message left with the Federalist Society’s public relations firm was left unreturned.