U.S. Supreme Court

Conservative Christians Demand Liberal Justices Recuse Themselves From Gay Marriage Case

Fearing an unfavorable ruling from the Supreme Court on the forthcoming Obergefell v Hodges case, some right-wing religious leaders are demanding that liberal Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan recuse themselves from the case. Scott Lively, President of Abiding Ministries, told reporters on Monday that he is filing a motion with the Supreme Court, requesting Justices Kagan and Ginsburg be removed from the case because they have presided at same-sex weddings.

Lively told reporters:

Justices Ginsburg and Kagan, knowing full well that unique legal issues regarding the definition of marriage would soon come before them, deliberately officiated at so-called homosexual wedding ceremonies creating not merely the appearance of bias, but an actual and blatant conflict of interest. In my personal view they have committed an unparalleled breach of judicial ethics by elevating the importance of their own favored political cause of gay rights above the integrity of the court and of our nation.

Lively was joined by about a dozen other anti-gay faith leaders in his demonstration outside the Supreme Court building. The group assembled behind a wall of sixty empty cardboard filing boxes, intended to represent 300,000 restraining orders that Faith2Action President Janet Porter said would be delivered to Congress and the Supreme Court, to prevent the body from ruling on gay marriage.

The court is expected to rule soon on the Obergefell v Hodges case. The case stems from an appeal to a 6th Circuit Court ruling that upheld same-sex marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. The Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments on the case Tuesday.

Right-wing religious leaders calling for Kagan and Ginsburg to be removed from the case argue that by officiating at legal weddings of same-sex couples, the justices are, therefore, unfit to rule on the Obergefell v Hodges case. The religious leaders seem unconcerned that biased anti-gay past comments made by Justices Scalia and Thomas should render them unqualified to hear the case.

These right-wing religious leaders fear that a full vote of the court could doom their anti-gay crusade. In a desperate last-ditch effort to make sure the Supreme Court doesn’t rule in favor of same-sex marriage, they have resorted to trying to remove two of the court’s liberal justices. The ploy is unlikely to succeed, but it does reveal just how desperate the right-wing has become in trying to prevent the nation from moving forward, and from more fully embracing marriage equality, by extending it to couples in every state.


Correction: Originally the name of the plaintiff in the case was misspelled. This has since been corrected.

Keith Brekhus

Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master's Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick's successful re-election bid in Arizona's 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.

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