I think most of the disagreement on here is over whether the judge SHOULD HAVE exercised her discretion. It's plainly in the rules that she can. But, discretion is not, as the argument goes, evenly applied. Case in point, an ass slap should have been ignored or issued a warning. I disagree.
That judge has to be there everyday. The same people that complain that superstars shouldn't get special treatment are probably the same ones saying that the treatment here was too harsh [not directed at any one on here, just a general observation]. Something doesn't mesh there.
The judge doesn't want ass-slappers running amok in her courtroom. She nipped it in the butt; and what is a better way to tell the parties [and attorneys] entering her doors everyday, "Hey, I'm not taking any poo!" than using a high-profile celebrity/athlete/circus clown?
As for general court decorum, different courts at the trial level on up have different "styles," so to speak. Backwoods Mississippi? Probably not as formal even at the appellate level. Innercity Minnesota? Probably pretty damn formal starting at the trial level.