In what would seem to be a no-brainer, the Florida Supreme Court has passed a rule requiring judges to wear black robes without any special adornment. No colors other than black are acceptable.
The court issued an opinion stating that the courtroom was not an appropriate setting make a fashion statement. They were concerned that anything other than black attire might cause people to doubt the judge’s seriousness. Others felt that the robe color could be seen as a reflection of the judge’s mood that day.
Other judges in lower courts have questioned the need for such an order. The opposing judges did not think that robes without embellishments would be detrimental to the administration of justice.
Some judges were upset at the idea that they need to be told how to dress. Unfortunately, based upon my more than thirty years of experience in courtrooms around the country, there are judges who need to be told how to dress and how to act in a courtroom.
There is no harm in requiring judges to act with decorum and appropriately dress.