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Canadian Judge Apologizes for Wearing ‘Make America Great Again’ Hat in Court

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A Canadian judge has apologized for his “lapse of judgement” after he wore a hat reading ‘Make America Great Again’, Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, in court.

Ontario judge Bernd Zabel told the Hamilton TV station CHCH that he “sincerely regrets” his decision to open court on Nov. 9—the day after the election—wearing the hat. “I wish to apologize for my misguided attempt to mark a moment in history by humor in the courtroom, following the surprising result in the United States election,” he said.

He added that the gesture was not intended to be a political statement or an endorsement of the views and comments of President-elect Trump. “I acknowledge that wearing the hat is a breach of the principals of judicial office and was a lapse in judgement that I sincerely regret,” he said.

Over the weekend, a city councillor in Hamilton released a statement saying he thought the judge should step down or be removed from the bench.

“His actions are an embarrassment to the City of Hamilton, the Judiciary and the Canadian Legal system as a whole,” Coun. Matthew Green wrote. “If I was a person convicted by this man I’d be quickly filing for appeal.”

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Write to Kate Samuelson at kate.samuelson@time.com