Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Wrongs and Rights of Free Association

By Laurence M. Vance

The state of California has effectively banned its 2,000 state court judges from participating in the Boy Scouts. The California Supreme Court recently voted unanimously to eliminate an exception for nonprofit youth groups to a rule that prohibits California judges from belonging to groups that practice discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The judges have until January 21, 2016, to sever any connection they have with the Boy Scouts.

Although California judges have long been barred from membership in groups that discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation, the state’s Supreme Court approved an exemption in 1996 for “nonprofit youth organizations” to accommodate judges affiliated with the Boy Scouts.

In 2003, after the San Francisco Bar Association and other legal organizations sought to repeal the exemption, the California Supreme Court instructed judges to disclose their connections to the Boy Scouts when they heard gay-rights cases, and to recuse themselves for any conflicts of interest. In 2014, an ethics advisory committee recommended eliminating the exception altogether. The proposal was supported by the California Judges Association, which represents three-quarters of the state’s judges.

So why the Boy Scouts?

Read the rest here.

1 comment:

  1. You take the Kings Shillings you do the Kings bidding.