A few years ago, I commented on judges who impose sentencing by creating their own type of punishment, like public shaming, or ordering someone to go to church. See here and here for previous posts on this.
Professor Ronald Rotunda's most recent column at Verdict (available here) offers an update on the issue addressing the practice of forcing lawyers to donate money to charity as a form of sanction. He notes that although there are a host of ethics opinions and laws that say it is improper because it is an abuse of judicial power, many judges continue to think they have the power to impose such a sanction. He proposes that, just like the court did in In re Merritt, 432 N.W.2d 170
(Mich 1988), courts should start enforcing the rules by requiring judges to pay, out of their own pockets, the money they ordered the defendants to pay.