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Desperate anti-equality group calls on Kagan, Ginsburg to sit out marriage cases

by Jeremy Hooper

Judges have the power to perform weddings. Weddings between Americans of the same-sex are legally recognized in thirty-six states (plus D.C.) and under federal law. Ergo, judges have every right to perform such unions in such states where they are just as much of an option as weddings between a man and a woman.

But check out this desperate attempt by the anti-gay American Family Association. The group that has been decades demonizing and Screen Shot 2015-01-19 At 12.02.57 Pm fundraising off of marriage inequality, is now demanding that two of the nine US Supreme Court Justices recuse themselves from the upcoming marriage cases simply because they have chosen to perform legally-valid weddings:

In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s announcement that it will hear the issue, American Family Association (AFA, www.afa.net) says 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.

“Both of these justices’ personal and private actions that actively endorse gay marriage clearly indicate how they would vote on same-sex marriage cases before the Supreme Court,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “Congress has directed that federal judicial officers must disqualify themselves from hearing cases in specified circumstances. 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.”

AFA sent an Action Alert to its one million-plus supporters, asking them to write a letter to their members of Congress, urging them to remind members of the nation’s highest court of their charge to maintain impartiality.

Hogwash. They 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.

Having a worldview about a world of which you are, in fact, a part is not a reason for recusal. But nice try, AFA. With odds as stacked against you as they are, I guess I can understand this obvious attempt to game the system. I don't respect it; I do, however, get it.

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