The Oregon Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability has recommended that elected Oregon Judge Vance Day be removed from his job.
The Commission found, "Judge Day is a Christian whose family held religious beliefs including defining marriage as only between a man and a woman."
And the Commission is recommending he "be ousted from his job for his refusal to marry same-sex couples."
The Commission is recommending Judge Day be removed from the bench even though he, a Republican, has served for nearly 30 years.
Judge Vance Day is well known for his Christian faith. Voters, including some who may not hold his biblical views, have elected him anyway.
Interestingly the Commission, in making their recommendation to the State Supreme Court, recommended he be "ousted for his refusal to marry same-sex couples... and other ethical violations."
There seems to be no question that this action was driven by his refusal to "marry" same-sex couples.
Although a judge is not required to marry anyone, the activists chose marriage as the sword in their quest to destroy the man and his career and reputation.
The recommendation says Judge Day instructed his staff members to embark on a "discriminatory plan" by telling people that they would have to check the judge's schedule before he could perform a wedding. The judge then told his staff to investigate if the couples were gay.
The truth is that he told his staff that because of his religious beliefs he would prefer to not perform same-sex ceremonies. Period. Interestingly, no same-sex couples ever inquired.
The Commission notes that Judge Day's beliefs "clash with US District Judge Michael McShane's ruling in May 2014 overturning Oregon's ban on same-sex marriage."
This is the case against the Christian judge.
What about the "and other ethical violations?"
To support their attack, they have constructed other allegations by misrepresenting what actually happened in a number of issues.
One charge is that Marion County Circuit Judge Cheryl Pellegrini told the Commission that when she was appointed to the bench in 2014, Day invited her out to breakfast and told her he was opposed to her appointment because of her sexual orientation as a lesbian.
Judge Day says he told her he was opposed to her appointment because she had been a government lawyer.
The Commission reports they found Pellegrini's account "to be more credible."
There are other so-called "ethical violations."
The Commission charged the judge with "including a portrait of Hitler in a 'Hall of Heroes' display he erected in the Marion County Courthouse."
The picture of Hitler was centered in a larger piece of artwork that featured memorabilia from World War II commemorating the veterans who fought to successfully defeat Hitler and end the Nazi regime. It was a tribute to vets.
There are other charges. All this will go to the State Supreme Court.
Judge Day has issued a response. In it he says, "A quick review of the decision indicates that the Commission's 'finding of facts' are at odds with the evidence presented at the hearing, and some have no evidentiary support at all."
The judge's statement also says, "The opinion is especially troubling because it disregards Judge Day's First Amendment rights to freedom of religion, speech and association. He will vigorously defend these rights, and his innocence of the remaining charges, before the Oregon Supreme Court."
It is very troubling to see the extent to which activists will go to police and punish the thoughts and beliefs of Christians---even if there has been no wrong doing.
My long time friend and national talk show host Lars Larson sums it up like this:
Mark your calendars folks: First Amendment Free speech died today in Oregon. A commission on judicial ethics has recommended the state Supreme Court fire Marion County Judge Vance Day. Day is one of the few republicans on the bench in Oregon after 30 years of judge appointments by a litany of Democrat Governors. The commission found that Day engaged in unethical conduct. And what awful crimes did Judge Day commit? The Judge put up a piece of art on the wall of his office…a picture of Hitler covered with memorabilia from war vets who brought about the end of the Nazi regime as a tribute. He thought a soccer ref’s bad call put his son in danger so he gave the ref a business card. On a visit to a veteran guilty of felony drunk driving, where the judge was repairing the man’s wood stove, Day’s son showed the vet a new gun he’d bought and Day didn’t stop the vet from handling the unloaded firearm. But what was the offense that’s unforgivable in PC Oregon? Judges have the power to perform marriages. It’s not a requirement of the job. Day told his staff he didn’t want to perform gay marriages because of his religious beliefs…but no gay couple ever asked. Unfortunately in Oregon, Judge Day committed the “thought crime” of opposing gay marriage. Off with his head!
Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning.