Friday, November 14, 2014

Federal judge denies taking political sides on same-sex marriage while publicly debating the issue

One of the things to which Justice John Heyburn seemed to take umbrage was the implication (I never actually criticized Judge Heyburn directly) that he was taking political sides on the same-sex marriage issues.

No one but us substantively neutral judges here.

But I'm surprised no one noted the irony that he said this in the very act of debating an advocate of traditional marriage. I don't think he wanted it called a debate (something he said several times privately), but that's, in fact, what it was as soon as someone from the other side was invited.

To be fair to Judge Heyburn, he was the originally-invited speaker but he requested someone from the other side to be there and I got the call, which was a gracious act on his part. But as soon as you have that situation, it does bring up some interesting questions.


KyCobb said...

Well Martin, he already ruled on this issue, so why should he pretend to a neutrality everyone knows he doesn't have? Whats important is that judges be objective and open minded when a case is before them.

Anonymous said...

If he hadn't publicly debated you then I suspect you would be posting that he was too cowardly to defend his position.

Martin Cothran said...

No, actually I would have counseled him that judges probably shouldn't do that. In fact, during the debate I treated him with deference precisely because he was a federal judge. I never interrupted him (as I would have someone not a federal judge on, say "Kentucky Tonight."

In fact, I am not now accusing him of improper behavior, since, as I mentioned, I think he intended it to be something different from what it ended up being and he was gracious enough to invite the other side, which he didn't have to do.

I really don't see that you have cause to say that I have or would have been opportunistic in this the way you have.

I also, as I have said before, think that if you're going to accuse someone else of the kind of ethical charge you're implying here, should put your name on the charge and not post anonymously.

Anyone who makes the kind of charge you make here and does it anonymously has no ethical standing to make the charge.


Old Rebel said...

"objective and open minded" = promotes the globalist agenda

solarity said...

I thought you did a fine job in straddling a difficult line between being too confrontational and too deferential. You certainly were gifted with an exceptionally rare opportunity as federal judges almost never allow themselves to be in a setting where they have to publicly defend an opinion.

Judge Heyburn is a fairly conventional liberal with no obvious ability to think outside the prevaiilng liberal sentiment of the moment. Judicial restraint is a concept to which he would give lip service but never actually practice.

The entire gay marriage judicial debate reminds me very much of the wave of federal judicial decisions that implemented forced bussing in the 70's. Liberal judges all over this country were practically salivating at the opportunity to implement the latest fad in educational theory - that mixing races in the classroom would produce all sorts of beneficial social effects. It was, and remains, a destructive intrusion of social experimentation thrust upon us by a shortsighted judiciary.

Keep up the good work Martin.

KyCobb said...


Well, another racist heaps praise on you. Doesn't that make you feel special?