The decision also cites instances of Watkins' screaming at and threatening parties in his courtroom and often exploding in fits of anger.
"The Hearing Board determined that Judge Watkins demonstrated a preference for using threats, intimidation, profanity and shouting rather than the tools available to judges, including civil and criminal contempt, to deal with admittedly difficult litigants."
A video of a divorce case involving a Putnam County pastor was circulated online and showed Watkins screaming "shut up" and promising to jail the man. He said he was too angry to handle the case but then did not recuse himself.
The justices wrote in their decision, "A judge owes a duty to treat lawyers and litigants courteously, to hear them patiently, to study their arguments and evidence conscientiously, and to decide their cases promptly.
"When a judge insults, ridicules or disparages counsel, the parties, jurors or witnesses, it is clearly misconduct," they said. 'It is never appropriate for a judge to become a combatant with a party.
"Participants will never accept that a decision rendered by a combatant is fair. A pattern of judicial discourtesy like that exhibited by Judge Watkins represents a profound threat to the integrity of the judiciary, and consequently demands a strong response."
Watkins requested in January that proceedings against him be delayed because he was applying for disability and retirement.
At a February Supreme Court hearing, the justices asked his attorney, Robert Martin, for the date he had made that application. Martin said Watkins had not yet filed.
Contact writer Cheryl Caswell at cher...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4832.