A Utah judge who had ordered a baby girl taken away from her lesbian foster mothers and placed in a heterosexual home removed himself from the case Monday as criticism turned into calls for his impeachment.
Though Judge Scott Johansen had reversed his decision and allowed the 9-month-old baby to stay with the married women recommended by state welfare authorities, there were concerns he could still have the baby removed from their home in Price later on.
April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce asked for the judge to be disqualified, saying that the decision revealed a potential bias that broke the rules of judicial conduct, their lawyer Jim Hunnicutt said.
While Johansen disputed their legal standing to call for his removal, he nevertheless stepped aside nearly a week after the Nov. 10 order criticized by national gay rights groups, the state’s Republican governor and others.
This is a relevant question, I think: For all we might hear our politically conservative neighbors bawl about liberal judicial activism, what would they call a judge who has to make stuff up in order to desperately cling to traditional family values?
Just like we didn’t hear them complaining when the Sixth Circuit decided to arbitrarily recriminalize homosexuality for the purpose of sending a case to the Supreme Court.
Then again, I still recall the cries of liberal judicial activism in Roper v. Simmons, in which the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the decision of one of the most conservative state supreme courts in the country.
A judge getting caught faking it as he goes in order to exercise his right of conscience to deny equal protection in his own courtroom? If that isn’t an example of the sort of judicial activism our conservative neighbors constantly complain about, then … er … well, it would be one thing to say, then it is no longer clear what, exactly, they are complaining about, except, you konw, something about the day ending in -y.
Whitehurst, Lindsay. “Utah judge removes himself from gay foster parent case”. Associated Press. 16 November 2015.