FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 13, 2015
Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)
"The impartiality of judges is the very foundation of our legal system. When you have a situation where a judge has already decided how to rule on a pending case before it is even presented or argued, the integrity of the judicial system is called into question." — Brian Brown, NOM president —
Washington, D.C. — The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today issued a demand that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recuse herself from hearing the pending same-sex marriage cases because of comments she gave in a media interview that foreshadows her ruling in the upcoming cases even before they are briefed or argued. If she fails to recuse herself, NOM will ask Congress to conduct an investigation of her conduct and to consider legislation to discipline justices who speak out publicly about pending cases.
"Justice Ginsburg has brought disrepute on the Supreme Court and eliminated any pretext that she will approach the marriage issue with an open mind when it comes before her. Because of this prejudice, federal law requires her to remove herself from hearing the cases," said Brian Brown, NOM's president. "If she does not step aside, we will ask Congress to investigate the matter and pursue legislative remedies."
Ginsburg gave a media interview this week to Bloomberg where she said "it would not take a large adjustment" for the American people to accept a ruling redefining marriage and that, "In recent years, people have said, 'This is the way I am.' And others looked around, and we discovered it's our next-door neighbor — we're very fond of them. Or it's our child's best friend, or even our child. I think that as more and more people came out and said that 'this is who I am,' the rest of us recognized that they are one of us." Ginsburg previously has presided at same-sex 'marriage' ceremonies.
Federal law (28 US Code Sec. 455) requires federal judges to disqualify themselves "in any proceeding in which [her] impartiality might reasonably be questioned."
"Justice Ginsburg has made it crystal clear that she is going to rule in favor of redefining marriage when these cases come before her," Brown said. "We demand that she comply with federal law and disqualify herself as she is required to do. If she refuses, we will ask Congress to act."
Ginsburg's highly inappropriate media commentary is being used by advocates for same-sex marriage who also see it as a foreshadowing of her ruling. The Human Rights Campaign called her comments "taking a bold stand for progress and equality, stating that the country is ready for marriage equality." They are using her comments to recruit signers to a brief they plan to submit to the Court.
"The impartiality of judges is the very foundation of our legal system" said Brown. "When you have a situation where a judge has already decided how to rule on a pending case before it is even presented or argued, the integrity of the judicial system is called into question. This goes way beyond the issue of same-sex marriage and cuts to the heart of whether our federal judiciary can be trusted to fairly consider and adjudicate important issues. Ginsburg comments suggest they cannot."
To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray, [email protected], or Matille Thebolt, [email protected], at 703-683-5004.
Paid for by The National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, president. 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. New § 68A.405(1)(f) & (h).