Every day, judges preside over trials of defendants who already have been convicted for stealing or killing; somehow they manage to be impartial. It's hysterical to suggest that impartiality can't be counted on because a judge is a Boy Scout.
Sacramento attorney James Sweeney called the new rule "viewpoint discrimination." Sweeney represents Catholic Charities in its efforts to be exempted from a state law that requires employer-paid drug plans to offer birth control to employees -- even though that violates church doctrine. (Again, I disagree with the church position -- but then tolerance means recognizing the rights of others to be wrong.)
Here's another concern: If gay plaintiffs question the impartiality of a judge who is a Scout, shouldn't devout Catholics fear a judge who is a member of the National Organization for Women? Or worse, the Bar Association of San Francisco?
I asked Beth Jay, chief attorney for Chief Justice George, whether the rules would apply to a NOW judge and the Catholic Charities case. "It might be that a member of NOW would have to disclose that in a Catholic Charities case, " Jay answered.
OK, but the activists targeted the Boy Scouts. Not NOW.
They allegedly did so to make the public more confident in the courts' impartiality. (Insert laughter. Bitter laughter.) The Supreme Court ruling only serves to make those who aren't politically correct less confident in the courts' impartiality.
The anti-Scouters aren't even honest. They don't want impartiality. They want to chase apostates off the bench.
Too bad the top court won't stand up to them.
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