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02/11/2010

Wow, shocker: Matt 'hyperbole' Barber takes witch hunt to new lows

by Jeremy Hooper

6A00D8341C503453Ef0120A76D6E43970B-1And now comes the point where the far-right uses conjecture about a judge's sexual orientation to witch-hunt him off of a case. Take it away, Matt "one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it ‘love’” Barber:

“The revelation that Judge Walker apparently chooses to engage in homosexual conduct, if true, would explain much of his bizarre behavior throughout this trial,” said [Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber].

“At every turn he’s displayed extreme bias in favor of his similarly situated homosexual activist plaintiffs. These individuals have eschewed the democratic process and seek to employ like-minded judicial activists to radically redefine the millennia-old definition of natural marriage.
...
“This is no different than having an avid gun collector preside over a Second Amendment case,” continued Barber, “or a frequent user of medical marijuana deciding the legality of medical marijuana.
...
"If Judge Walker somehow divines from thin air that the framers of the U.S. Constitution actually intended that Patrick Henry had a ‘constitutional right’ to marry Henry Patrick, then who among us will be surprised?

“Any decision favoring plaintiffs in this case will be permanently marred and universally viewed as stemming from Judge Walker’s personal biases and alleged lifestyle choices.

"For these reasons, and in the interest of justice, Judge Walker should do the honorable thing and immediately recuse himself.”
Guest Opinion: Purportedly 'Gay' Proposition 8 Judge Should Recuse Himself [Catholic Online]

Do you hear how incredibly messed up this is? Matt Barber is seriously suggesting that a (rumored) gay man cannot be trusted to weigh in on a matter of civil fairness, simply because he's (rumored to be) of a certain sexual orientation. This despite the fact that heterosexual judges cast opinions involving heterosexual relationships on a daily basis, or the fact that the chief justice in the case that granted LGB Californians marriage in the first place was a straight Republican. To Barber, the only people fit to decide marriage equality are those who have been born into bodies that allow them to take the institution for granted. And the only sexual orientation that should be compared to gun or marijuana usage is the same one that he dedicates his life to vitriolically protesting. Funny how that works, right?

The truth is that the anti-equality side has been using the "Walker is biased" playbook since well before the case began, because they know full well that the odds are stacked against them in this trial. Since they ALWAYS have a tough time winning in the court of law, they made the deliberate decision to start a meme about Judge Walker and his alleged motivations. They concocted a script, and they've stuck to it. Their ability to stay on message is perhaps the most admirable quality of the "pro-family" movement (even if it trades off on the way more admirable quality of free form thought).

But here we have Matt taking it all to the next level, using rumors about Judge Walker to call for his recusal?!? Even before closing arguments have taken place?!? WOW. Just wow!

***

*It also must be noted that Judge Walker was appointed to the bench by George H.W. Bush. Also of note: As a private attorney, he actually angered some in the LGBT community:

Many San Francisco gays still hold Walker in contempt for a case he took when he was a private attorney, when he represented the U.S. Olympic Committee in a successful bid to keep San Francisco's Gay Olympics from infringing on its name.

"Life is full of irony," the judge replied when we reminded him about that episode.

Judge being gay a nonissue during Prop. 8 trial [SF Gate]

Guess that time his love for figure skating trumped his "gay bias," huh Matt?

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Your thoughts

I especially love the quote "These individuals have eschewed the democratic process and seek to employ like-minded judicial activists to radically redefine..." They consistently get ahead of the messaging and ACCUSE US of doing exactly what THEY'VE BEEN doing. I have to give them credit for pointing their fingers at us before we even have a chance to point at them.

I grew up hearing the phrase "the guilty dog barks the loudest". I think Matt and some of his co-horts bark an awful lot!!

Posted by: Ken | Feb 11, 2010 10:20:38 AM

One could argue that any straight judge would also be similarly biased.

And yes, they always accuse us of doing whatever they're doing, to the point where it's an accurate predictor of their future actions. My only question is whether it's deliberate, or are they so lacking in self-awareness that it just leaks out like an improperly installed colostomy bag?

Posted by: marsmannetje | Feb 11, 2010 10:33:53 AM

My favorite part is

"This is no different than having an avid gun collector preside over a Second Amendment case..."

I think 100% of the conservatives I know would shout HOORAY for that type of judicial activism. :)

Posted by: Tom | Feb 11, 2010 10:37:45 AM

Are there any eunuchs on the bench?

Posted by: Owen | Feb 11, 2010 11:13:46 AM

Barber displays such a poor grasp of judicial process: In the case at hand, Judge Walker,and all the parties, know that any decision will be appealed. No judge likes to see his or her decisions overruled so this judge is stuck with making his decision very carefully, making the case for his decision very clear, and making sure that testimony and trial motions are correctly handled and the trial record is complete. 'Plaintiff is really hot!' and 'Fags Rule!' just do not qualify as rationales likely to satisfy higher courts.

I have to doubt that Mr. Barber cares very much about that. His remarks should be seen as a sort of negative confetti celebrating the process of walling himself and his supporters off from the real world so that his authority can last a little longer.

Posted by: Jonathan Justice | Feb 11, 2010 11:35:56 AM

@Jonathan Justice: And he's a dean at Liberty University Law school.

A. DEAN.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Feb 11, 2010 11:39:07 AM

There is a well-established process that either party can use to have a judge recused from a case if the party can meet the applicable standards to show bias. If the defendants' counsel in the case think that they can meet this standard, they are free to file a motion to have Walker disqualified. Since they have not done so, it would seem that they either don't think they can meet the legal standard and/or they are happier to let their fellow wingnuts wage a PR campaign rather than to actually engage in the legal process that would be appropriate of they had a leg to stand on.

Posted by: Humbug311 | Feb 11, 2010 12:49:05 PM

If they use the legal process and fail, it makes headlines that make them look bad to undecideds and costs money. If they use a PR campaign and fail, undecideds do not notice and the far-right wingnuts have something else to blame us for (which ends up being a win anyway). Easy decision for them which one of those to use.

Posted by: Ken | Feb 11, 2010 3:02:47 PM

"“Any decision favoring plaintiffs in this case will be permanently marred and universally viewed as stemming from Judge Walker’s personal biases and alleged lifestyle choices."

WAAAHHH!!! YEAH! IT WILL! Whhyyy? Cause we say so! Our words make it so!

Gee, I really thought it was because the defense was a bunch of braindead idiota who couldn't string together two thoughts or produce a "case study" or body of research from the last 20 years...HELL, from the last FORTY years. THEY CITED FREUD FOR GOD SAKES!!!! And not just you know, experimental psych research methods Freud, the stuff he's still considered reputable on... they cited the things that had been LONG debunked.

Posted by: Bry | Feb 11, 2010 9:15:16 PM

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