A candidate for the Kentucky Supreme Court wants a federal court to throw out the state's judicial election rules because he says they prohibit him from offering his views on gay marriage, when life begins and other hot-button topics.
The candidate, Marcus Carey, whose Web site says he promotes "conservative values," also wants to strike down rules that bar judicial candidates from disclosing their party affiliation and from announcing endorsements by elected officials. Carey is the former chairman of the 4th Congressional District Republican Party.
"Voters want to know who we are and what we stand for before we are elected to the bench," Carey said.
In other words, the hell with an independent judiciary which decides cases and controversies based upon the Constitution and the law. If we can force judicial candidates in advance to announce that they are in favor of discrimination against gays and lesbians and other such matters, then we need never worry about that little obstacle we call the Constitution getting in our way. Let's just scrap the judicial branch altogether and let a tyrranical legislative majority oppress minority groups at will.
Fortunately, there are fair and rational thinking people in Kentucky's legal community who understand the danger in what Bopp is attempting to do. Wilfrid Schroder, the judicial candidate opposing Bopp's candidate, considers Bopp's lawsuit a direct attack on the independence of the judiciary. "Citizens need to know that their cases will be decided based on the constitution and the law and nothing else," he said. "As a citizen, you don't want your cases judged based on whether you are a Democrat or a Republican."
Bopp has already successfully chipped away at Kentucky's rules regarding the conduct of judicial candidates. A suit he brought last year on behalf of the Family Foundation of Kentucky forced the Kentucky Supreme Court to drop a rule that barred judicial candidates from making statements that "commit or appear to commit" them to positions on cases they likely would hear the Courier-Journal reports.
And a word on Marcus Carey, the "family values" supreme court candidate Bopp is representing. As a teenager, Carey had a little bit too much to drink at a high school graduation party and then got behind the wheel of a car and was involved in a crash that claimed the life of a 16-year old passenger in his car. Carey was convicted of negligent homicide but served only one month in jail. Why was this man allowed into law school and given a license to practice law? Was it just another youthful indiscretion of a religious hypocrite?
A big hat tip to the Indiana Law Blog for bringing this one to our attention.