The American Family Association has issued a call claiming two liberal Supreme Court justices should recuse themselves from ruling on the same-sex marriage cases the Court just accepted Friday.
"Kagan and Ginsburg: Recuse Yourselves!" reads the press release. "Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg should recuse themselves from making any same-sex marriage decisions because they have both conducted same-sex marriage ceremonies," it adds.
Other Supreme Court justices have officiated at different-sex weddings, so its unclear why officiating at a legal same-sex wedding should make any difference.
“Congress has directed that federal judicial officers must disqualify themselves from hearing cases in specified circumstances," Wildmon writes in the release. "Both Kagan and Ginsburg have not only been partial to same-sex marriage but they have also proven themselves to be activists in favor of it. In order to ensure the Court’s integrity and impartiality, both should recuse themselves from same-sex marriage cases. Congress has an obligation to Americans to see that members of the Supreme Court are held to the highest standards of integrity. The law demands it, and the people deserve it."
The only problem with Wildmon's statement is it's inaccurate. Supreme Court justices are not bound by any rule or law to recuse themselves, although many have at different times, including Justice Kagan, out of a sense of propriety and duty.
But Wildmon also insists that "concerned Americans write a letter to their members of Congress urging them to call on Justices Kagan and Ginsburg to recuse themselves from any same-sex marriage cases, as their previous actions in performing same-sex ceremonies raise more than a reasonable doubt regarding their impartiality on this issue."
Of course, Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, at the very least, have made quite clear how they will rule on same-sex marriage, so by Wildmon's reasoning, as flawed as it is, they should recuse themselves as well.
Calling it a "desperate attempt," Jeremy Hooper at Good As You notes that Justices Ginsburg and Kagan "don't have some sort of unfairly obtained knowledge, financial investment, close relatives involved in the cases, or other conflicting interest. The judges are Americans who have every right to participate in society. They are perfectly free to have opinions about existing law. And of course they are just as allowed to enjoy and engage in lawful activities as any other American."
Via Twitter, Hooper and others offered these comments:
If the American Family Ass. is unsuccessful at getting Kagan & Ginsburg to recuse,I hear Plan B is to pull the fire alarm during the hearing— Jeremy Hooper (@goodasyou) January 19, 2015
To be clear, the claim that they should recuse themselves is absurd and will go nowhere and a political move, not a legal one.— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) January 19, 2015
@chrisgeidner Scalia has openly disapproved of Gay marriage and has clearly prejudged the matter. Should he recuse himself?— Gordon G. Forbes (@ggforbes) January 19, 2015
Apparently AFA doesn't see difference between finding a right to same-sex marriage and officiating a legal ceremony http://t.co/kWVWTdyXxt— Chris Johnson (@chrisjohnson82) January 19, 2015
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