WASHINGTON — A Christian legal organization in Alabama has filed a motion urging the recusal of two U.S. Supreme Court justices who have officiated same-sex “weddings” as the high court hears oral argument today surrounding states’ rights regarding the definition of marriage.
As previously reported, liberal Justice Elena Kagan, nominated to the bench by Barack Obama, officiated her first same-sex “wedding” last September, participating in a ceremony for her former law clerk Mitchell Reich and his partner Patrick Pearsall. The event was held in Chevy Chase, Maryland, a suburb just outside of the nation’s capital.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, nominated to the bench by Bill Clinton, officiated a ceremony in 2013, where she presided over an event for Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser and his partner John Roberts.
“I think it will be one more statement that people who love each other and want to live together should be able to enjoy the blessings and the strife in the marriage relationship,” she said prior to the occasion, according to the Washington Post.
The Foundation for Moral Law in Montgomery, Alabama, led by the wife of “Ten Commandments judge” Roy Moore, believes that this disqualifies Kagan and Ginsberg from participating in today’s Obergefell v. Hodges case.
In a press release issued today, the foundation noted that Canon 3A(6) of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges outlines that “[a] judge should not make public comment on the merits of a matter pending or impending in any court.” 28 U.S.C. sec 455(a) also requires that a justice “shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”
“Common sense dictates that one who has performed same-sex marriages cannot objectively rule on their legality,” President Kayla Moore stated. “If these justices participate in this case, the court’s decision will forever be questioned as being based on their personal feelings rather than on the Constitution itself.”
She noted that even her husband, who serves as the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, declined to participate in recent orders surrounding a federal ruling because of his personal speech and activity pertaining to the matter.
“With far less evidence of bias, Chief Justice Roy Moore voluntarily did not vote on the recent Alabama Supreme Court case regarding same-sex marriag,” Moore stated. “Justices Ginsburg and Kagan should follow his example.”
“[Ginsberg’s statements] not only tip the court’s hand as to how she will vote, but they also constitute a warning to lower courts that they had better rule in favor of same-sex marriage or the court will step in and reverse them,” Moore had stated last September.
The foundation had also filed an amicus brief with the court asserting that previous Supreme Court decisions declare that issues surrounding marriage are to be left up to the states.
While the U.S. Supreme Court hears argument today following an appeal from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, a decision is not expected to be reached in the case until June.