Can a judge choose which cases he can hear? The Supreme Court decides which cases they will hear during each session. But when it comes to regular bench warmers, are they able to say yes or no to what they have presented before them?
Judge W. Mitchell Nance of Kentucky, who begins court each day by requiring everyone to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, said in an order this week that he would recuse himself from all adoptions involving gay people or “homosexual parties” because he believes allowing a gay person to adopt could never be in the child's best interest.
Nance cited a judicial ethics rule that says a judge must disqualify himself when he has a personal bias or prejudice.
He said in the order issued Thursday 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." Kentucky state law allows gay couples to adopt, and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that all states must permit same-sex marriage.
Gay-rights advocates said they are appalled by Nance’s order.
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 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.”
But Martin Cothran, an analyst for the Family Foundation of Kentucky, which opposed gay marriage, said in an email that “we fully support the decision of Judge Nance to recuse himself from these kinds of cases.
But lawyers say he will have to disqualify himself from any litigation involving gay people, including divorces involving a spouse coming out of the closet.
Lawyers say Nance is highly religious and opposed to divorce. – USAToday.com
Maybe Nancy should recuse himself from his job? Impartiality should be the main focus of his position. If he holds bias in his heart in regard to homosexuals and divorce, what else may he be biased against that he is not telling us?