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Kentucky Judge Refuses to Hear Any Case Involving a ‘Practicing Homosexual’ Wanting to Adopt a Child

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Breach of Ethics?

A Kentucky family court judge has announced he will not hear adoption cases involving any “practicing homosexual” or “homosexual parties” because it would not be in the “best interests of the child” to allow same-sex couples or LGBT people to be parents.

Judge W. Mitchell Nance, who was re-elected to an 8-year term when he ran unopposed in 2014, on Thursday issued an order saying he has the right and the obligation to recuse himself from any case in which he might have a personal bias.

The Courier-Journal reports Judge Nance says that “as a matter of conscience” he believes that “under no circumstance” would “the best interest of the child be promoted by the adoption by a practicing homosexual.”

Nance told the Courier-Journal in an interview, “I stand behind the law I have cited, the matter of conscience I addressed and the decision I have made.”

Asked if judges who oppose capital punishment should be able to recuse themselves from death penalty cases, he said, “I really have not thought about that enough to given an intelligent answer.”

Judge Nance’s stance, however, may be a problem.

“He has taken an oath to uphold the law, which by virtue of the equal protection clause does not tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, religion or sexual orientation,” Indiana University law school professor Charles Geyl, a judicial ethics expert, says. “If he is unable to set his personal views aside and uphold the law — not just in an isolated case, but with respect to an entire class of litigant because he finds them odious — it leads me to wonder whether he is able to honor his oath.”

Nance, not surprisingly, has been described by local attorneys as highly religious and opposed to divorce, The Courier-Journal notes.

“Even in uncontested divorces involving no children, he makes the parties appear in court, offers them condolences on the demise of their marriage and makes them explain why it didn’t work out.”

Attorneys say he also asked divorce litigants where they go to church and whether they are a true believer.

It’s unclear if that, too, is within the confines of proper judicial ethics.

Judge Nance notified local lawyers they will need to request a different judge should they have an adoption case involving LGBT people or same-sex couples.

But clearly the average person would have reason to believe Judge Nance’s personal biases extend past adoption.

Lawyers say Nance will now also have to disqualify himself from any litigation involving gay people, including divorces involving a spouse coming out of the closet. He said he understands that gays and lesbians would have reservations about appearing before him.”

It would seem that any LGBT person who Judge Nance ruled against might have reason to contest the ruling, as might any person who thinks the judge thought they are not a “true believer.”

Would a defendant or plaintiff whose views on marriage equality or rights of LGBT people are different than Judge Nance’s have reason to question his ability to be fair? Would they also have reason to question his rulings?

Dan Canon, a Louisville lawyer who helped win the right of same-sex marriage in Kentucky, said: “The bottom line is if this judge can’t fulfill his duties because of his personal biases, he should resign.” Chris Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign, said, “If he can’t do the job, he shouldn’t have the job.” 

The Glasgow Daily Times adds that “Nance performs marriages, but said he has never been asked to marry a gay couple. If he were asked, Nance said he would decline to perform the marriage rights.”

Depending on Kentucky law, that too could pose a problem for Nance.

Judge Nance is up for re-election in 2023.

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Image by Victoria Pickering via Flickr and a CC license

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News

‘Minneapolis Is Burning’: Shocking Videos Emerge as Protesters Seek Justice for George Floyd

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Protesters and police clashed for a second night in Minneapolis as the former cop who killed George Floyd remains a free man.

Photos and video from the scene show at least one business burning.

Here are some of the images from the protest:

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POLITICIZING THE DOJ

DOJ Spokesperson Tells Fox News Bill Barr Is Opening Investigation Into Unmasking by Obama Administration During 2016 Election

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Dept. of Justice Spokesperson Kerri Kupec says Bill Barr has authorized the opening of an investigation into “unmasking” that took place before, during, and after the 2016 presidential election by the Obama administration. It is the latest move by the Attorney General to further politicize the DOJ in an effort to re-write history as President Donald Trump would like it told.

Barr has tasked John Dash, a U.S. Attorney in Texas, with conducting the investigation.

Kupac made the announcement on Fox News Wednesday night, telling host and frequent Trump advisor Sean Hannity that Barr has concerns about the “frequency” and the “motivation” of unmasking requests.

“When you’re looking at unmasking as part of a broader investigation,” Kupac told Hannity, “who was unmasking whom, can add a lot to our understanding about motivation and big picture events.”

Unmasking, the act of requesting to learn the identity of a U.S. individual caught up in Intelligence Community telephone intercepts of foreign actors, is perfectly legal, which Kupac noted.

The Trump administration escalated unmasking requests, nearly doubling them in 2018, as this LA Times Legal Affairs Columnist notes:

But Sean Hannity painted a far different picture for his Fox News supporters.

“I have been told by my sources now Kerri, for years, that there have been unmasking at an increase of three-fold in the second term of the Obama administration. Um… I’ve been told that even members of Donald Trump’s family have been unmasked. Members of the media have been unmasked.”

Hannity could have actually done some basic research to get actual facts.

It’s important to note that in administrations that don’t politicize intelligence and turn the Dept. of Justice into a weapon for the president’s re-election, any announcement of a major investigation would be made in a non-partisan environment like the DOJ’s press briefing room, and all regular media outlets would be included.

Watch:

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RIGHT WING IDIOCY

‘Political Hack’ Kellyanne Conway Destroyed for Condescendingly Comparing Standing in Line to Vote to Buying Cupcakes

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White House Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway for the second time on Wednesday is drawing outrage for her offensive remarks. After painting a target on the back of the Twitter executive responsible for preventing disinformation and hoaxes, she’s now under fire for comparing standing in line to vote to standing in line to buy cupcakes.

On Wednesday, Conways remarks drove her to the number two slot on Twitter’s top trending items, just below the SpaceX launch.

“People are very proud to show up and go to the polls,” Conway told reporters. “They really are. I mean they wait in line at Georgetown Cupcake for an hour to get a cupcake,” she said, somewhat condescendingly.

“So I think they can probably wait in line to do something as consequential and critical and constitutionally significant as cast their ballot.”

Not all of America waits in line to buy cupcakes in Washington, D.C. And those who wait in line the most to vote generally live in poor and minority neighborhoods.

Americans can and do wait in line, often for hours, to vote. They shouldn’t have to. In the middle of a pandemic Americans want the opportunity to not contract – or spread – the deadly virus the President she works for has made even worse.

One American, U.S. Congressman Mark Pocan, Democrat of Wisconsin, had the perfect response to Conway’s condescension.

His remarks were echoed by others:

And still others had a few words to share about Conway’s comments:

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