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Request for the NY Commission on Judicial Conduct to Investigate Judge Wiggins for Bias in his Decision on the Challenge to the Marriage Equality Act

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The absurdly-named theocratic group New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms — whose Executive Director Reverend Jason J. McGuire says he belives that a gay person successfully can pray to Jesus and thereby become heterosexual, and that that is a constitutionally valid reason legally to prohibit same sex marriage — along with other theocratic plaintiffs brought a lawsuit seeking to have New York’s Marriage Equality Act declared null and void, and all of the same sex marriages entered into under it also declared annulled.

In a Decision signed November 18, 2011, Livingston County Acting Supreme Court Judge Robert B. Wiggins dismissed all but one of the Plaintiffs’ allegations. The one surviving allegation is legally dubious. Judge Wiggins’s written decision is chock full of unjudicial, unprofessional bias and political propaganda. Even if it turns out that he has properly decided on the one surviving allegation, the bias and political propaganda he wrote into his Decision constitutes conduct unbecoming an Acting Supreme Court Judge.

It is significant that Wiggins is an Acting Supreme Court Judge, because it is imaginable that he might want to do things to appeal to political gay-bashing Republicans and Tea Partiers in rural Livingston County such that they would nominate him for a full fourteen-year term on the Livingston County Supreme Court.

The Plaintiffs’ largely if not entirely bogus Complaint may be viewed here, Attorney General Schneiderman’s Response may be viewed here, and Judge Wiggins’s Decision shot through with unprofessional, non-judicial bias and political propaganda may be viewed here.  A sober-minded and highly-intelligent legal assessment of the situation may be read here, on New York Law School Professor Arthur S. Leonard’s blog, always a “must read.”

What follows is the text of a letter I am sending to the New York Commission on Judicial Conduct, asking it to investigate Judge Wiggins.  The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct’s site is here.

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Whereas, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct receives and reviews written complaints of misconduct against judges of the state unified court system;

And whereas, the types of complaints that may be investigated by the Commission include bias, prejudice, corruption, prohibited business or political activity and other misconduct on or off the bench;

I, Scott Rose, acting both as a New York State resident and as an investigative journalist for — and contributor to — the publication The New Civil Rights Movement (www.TheNewCivilRightsMovement.com), submit to the Commission the present Complaint regarding Acting Supreme Court Judge Robert B. Wiggins of the Supreme Court in Livingston County in the State of New York.

This Complaint involves Judge Wiggins’s “Decision and Order,” having the Index Number 807-2011 and dated November 18, 2011. The Decision regards a challenge to New York’s Marriage Equality Act.

The Verified Complaint that initiated the case lists as Plaintiffs 1) New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, an anti-gay organization of bullying theocrats, whose website states “As a Christian ministry, NYCF exists to influence legislation and legislators for the Lord Jesus Christ”; 2) NYCF’s Executive Director, Reverend Jason J. McGuire; 3) NYCF’s Senior Lobbyist Reverend Duane R. Motley, and 4) Rabbi Nathan S. Leiter, another anti-gay, bullying theocrat who is Executive Director of Torah Jews for Decency.

Named as Defendants are 1) The New York State Senate; 2) The New York State Department of Health; and 3) Eric T. Schneiderman in his official capacity as The Attorney General of the State of New York.

Judge Wiggins’s Decision emanates bias. 

In this case, Defendant Schneiderman had filed a Motion to Dismiss, as well as a Memorandum of Law in support of that motion. In his Decision, Judge Wiggins said apropos of Schneiderman’s Memorandum of Law that it “spews sanctimonious verbiage.” The question arises whether an unbiased, impartial judge would in a Decision write that a Defendant’s court document “spews sanctimonious verbiage.”

An examination of the context of Judge Wiggins’s phrase “spews sanctimonious verbiage” solidifies an impression that in his Decision, Judge Wiggins included non-judicial, political propaganda indicative of bias. Where Judge Wiggins wrote that the State’s brief “spews sanctimonious verbiage,” he was emotionally expressing an opinion regarding the Plaintiffs’ allegation – (as made in the Plaintiffs’ Verified Complaint) — of a “corrupt legislative process” including “the Governor’s violation of the constitutionally mandated three-day review period before the Legislature votes on a bill by unjustifiably issuing a message of necessity.”

Judge Wiggins concluded that Governor Cuomo’s handling of the message of necessity was entirely legal. That is to say, in his Decision, Judge Wiggins ultimately acknowledges that legally, the Plaintiffs’ allegation regarding Cuomo’s use of the message of necessity was without merit. Nonetheless, instead of organizing this section of his Decision around a legal analysis of why the Plaintiffs’ allegation regarding Cuomo’s use of the message of necessity was without merit, Judge Wiggins organized this section of his Decision around chastising Governor Cuomo over his use of the message of necessity. He did so, even though as a matter of law, a Governor’s message of necessity is not subject to judicial review.

Several aspects of this section of Judge Wiggins’s Decision suggest that Judge Wiggins might 1) personally engage in bullying non-acceptance of gay people; and/or that he might 2) in hopes of advancing his personal professional fortunes, not stop short of pandering – within the text of a Court Decision — to those that documentably do engage in bullying non-acceptance of gay people.

There is an appearance that Judge Wiggins — presently an ***Acting*** Supreme Court Judge — could be politicking, through this Decision document, in hopes of getting Livingston County conservatives to ***nominate*** him for a full fourteen year term as Supreme Court Judge in Livingston County. 

 

 

Continue to Part II.

 

New York City-​based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT-​interest by-​line has appeared on Advocate​.com, PoliticusUSA​.com, The New York Blade, Queerty​.com, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His “Mr. David Cooper’s Happy Suicide” is about a New York City advertising executive assigned to a condom account.

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NOT EVEN CLOSE

Sean Spicer Bitterly Complains the Press Is Treating Jen Psaki Better Than They Did Him

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As part of a deep dive into the growing popularity of White House press secretary Jen Psaki who has a legion of admirers on social media due to her handling of press, former Donald Trump press secretary Sean Spicer complained to the New York Times that she has gotten a free pass from the media that he never got.

According to the report, even Peter Doocy of Fox News had high praise for Psaki despite his almost daily battles with Psaki that have become widely shared on Twitter and evening newscasts.

“It never feels like I’m getting smacked down or vice versa,” Doocy admitted. “I understand why it looks like that, some of the ways that stuff gets clipped, but it doesn’t feel like that in the room.”

He added, “When I got back from my wedding she made a point to tell everybody in the briefing room that I just got married. That’s a transcript I can print out and show to my kids one day.”

As for Spicer, who eventually resigned following combative press conferences that were famously mocked on Saturday Night Live — with actor Melissa McCarthy portraying a bullying and manic Spicer — he thinks he was held to a higher standard than the current press secretary.

“‘I walked into the lion’s den every day — she walks into a bunch of kittens,'” Sean Spicer, Mr. Trump’s first press secretary and now the 6 p.m. anchor on Newsmax, said in an interview,” the Times’ Michael Grynbaum wrote.

Spicer also took exception to Psaki taking a dig at him during a press conference after President Joe Biden asked him to resign from the board of the United States Military Academy when she was asked about his performance in her job as well as appearances by Kellyanne Conway defending Donald Trump.

Psaki replied, “I will let others evaluate whether they think Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer and others were qualified.”

That led Spicer to complain, “Jen chose to stand and question my qualifications and services to this country. Once she did that, the gloves were off.”

You can read more here.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

GOP Gov. Kristi Noem Won’t Make Kids Wear Masks in Schools But She Is Trying to Make Them Pray

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South Dakota’s Republican Governor Kristi Noem refuses to mandate masks for schoolchildren and teachers but she’s trying to make students pray in public. Gov. Noem, who is widely expected to run for president in 2024, has let the coronavirus run rampant in her state of just 886,667 people – a population so small New York City’s is ten times larger. And yet coronavirus is running rampant in South Dakota, which ranks number eight in the nation for coronavirus cases per capita.

Governor Noem just made clear she does not see herself as a government or political leader, but as a religious one. Speaking to Real America’s Voice personality David Brody, Noem declared she will bring back prayer in schools (even though voluntary prayer has always been legal) and thinks political leaders are supposed to “minister” to their constituents.

Complaining that the actions other government leaders are taking “are not biblical,” Noem says they are supposed to “line up with God,” which is false.

“I think that it’s really time for all of us to look at the actions of our leaders and see if they line up with the word of God,” Noem said, “see if they’re biblical and if they really are following through on those actions that God’s called us to do to protect people, to serve people, and to really minister to them.”

Protecting, serving, and ministering – but not in the fight against the deadly pandemic.

“We’ve seen our society, our culture, degrade, as we’ve removed God out of our lives, and people become what they spend their time doing,” Noem declared. “When I was growing up, we spent every Sunday morning, every night, every Wednesday night in church, we were our church, family was a part of our life, we read the Bible every day as a family together, and spent time with each other, recognizing that we were created to serve others.”

Again, Noem makes clear she does not believe serving and protecting others has anything to do with COVID-19.

“I don’t know families do that as much anymore and those biblical values are learned, in the family, And they’re learned in church when the doors are open so people can be there and be taught.”

“We in South Dakota, have decided to take action to really stand for biblical principles. We had a bill that was passed during legislative session two years ago that put the the motto ‘In God We Trust’ in every single school building it is displayed. Now in every K-12 school building in the state of South Dakota.

“I have legislation that we’ll be proposing this year that will allow us to pray in schools, again, I really believe that focusing on those foundational biblical principles that teach us that every life has value every person has a purpose will recenter our kids and help us really heal this division that we see taking over our country.”

MSNBC’s Steve Benen notes, “given that the United States is a democracy, and not a theocracy, officials’ actions are supposed to line up with the Constitution and the rule of law, not how some people interpret scripture.”

“What the governor seemed to be suggesting, however, isn’t a system in which students pray on their own,” he adds, “but one in which school officials intervene in children’s religious lives. In the United States, that’s not legal: As my friends at Americans United for Separation of Church and State recently explained, ‘The South Dakota Supreme Court struck down mandatory recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in the state’s public schools in 1929. The U.S. Supreme Court invalidated school-sponsored prayer and Bible reading in public schools in 1962 and ’63.'”

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Architect of Texas Abortion Ban Also Criticized ‘Court-Invented Rights to Homosexual Behavior and Same-Sex Marriage’

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The architect of what is now Texas law, Governor Greg Abbott‘s “heartbeat” legislation that bans all abortion after six weeks, attacked the constitutional rights of same-sex couples to marriage, and sex between persons of the same sex, in a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court this past summer. In that brief he also called same-sex marriage a “judicial concoction,” and argued that women should merely abstain from sexual intercourse as a method to “control their reproductive lives.”

Former Texas solicitor general and Federalist Society member Jonathan Mitchell, The Guardian reports, “who played a pivotal role in designing the legal framework of the state’s near-total abortion ban, also argued on behalf of anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life that women would still be able to terminate pregnancies if Roe was overturned by traveling to ‘wealthy pro-abortion’ states like California and New York with the help of ‘taxpayer subsidies.'”

“Women can ‘control their reproductive lives’ without access to abortion; they can do so by refraining from sexual intercourse,” Mitchell wrote in the brief. “One can imagine a scenario in which a woman has chosen to engage in unprotected (or insufficiently protected) sexual intercourse on the assumption that an abortion will be available to her later. But when this court announces the overruling of Roe, that individual can simply change their behavior in response to the court’s decision if she no longer wants to take the risk of an unwanted pregnancy.”

“In the same brief, which calls for Roe to be overturned,” The Guardian adds, “Mitchell and co-counsel Adam Mortara, an anti-abortion activist and lawyer who clerked for the supreme court justice Clarence Thomas, said such a decision could open the door for other ‘lawless’ rights and protections to be reversed, including the right to have gay sex and the right to same-sex marriage.”

In their July, 2021 Supreme Court amicus brief, Mitchell and Mortara also call “interracial marriage” one of several “supposed constitutional ‘rights’ that have no basis in constitutional text or historical practice.” Among them, “court-imposed ‘substantive due process’ rights whose textual and historical provenance are equally dubious.”

On same-sex marriage and sex their opinion was devastatingly ruthless.

“The news is not as good for those who hope to preserve the court-invented rights to homosexual behavior and same-sex marriage,” the amicus brief reads. “These ‘rights,’ like the right to abortion from Roe, are judicial concoctions, and there is no other source of law that can be invoked to salvage their existence.”

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