Categorized | Opinion

Gay Activist Judge Scuttled by Virginia General Assembly – And the Mainstream Media Remains Clueless on Why

I suppose it should be flattering to find that the New York Times reads Virginia Right! and actually linked to us on their Editorial Page in an Opinion piece by Andrew Rosenthal. But it never ceases to amaze me at how they twist everything Conservatives say into some type of hate mongering. (And to be fair to a lesser lefty publication Slate, they also linked to the story and were even more over the top.)

(You can read the original story on Virginia Right! here.)

The scoop I got from a reliable source was that Republicans had cooked up some sort of a deal that would clear the way for a gay activist to be appointed to the Virginia Courts. Virginia Right! wasn’t alone on shining the light on this deal, which I am happy to report didn’t happen. And thanks in large part go to Delegate Bob Marshall.

But these left wing publications got it wrong.

Conservatives did not object to the appointment of Tracy Thorne-Begland to the bench because of his sexual orientation – he’s gay. The objection was based on his long history of activism. And the fear that such a history as a pro gay “agenda” activist would become a judicial activist, legislating from the bench.

The Times Editorial stated:

After Judge Vaughn Walker struck down Proposition 8, proponents of the same-sex marriage ban argued that the ruling should be overturned because Mr. Walker is gay.

Imagine if we applied this logic to all cases: If you’re a woman publicly in favor of equal pay, you can’t be trusted to rule on sex-discrimination cases. If you’re black and publicly opposed to racial profiling, you can’t be trusted to hear cases about police misconduct.

This is a case of judicial activism. Judges are expected to be impartial and apply the law. Not make the laws. The citizens of California overwhelmingly voted to ban gay marriage in the state. The judge that heard the case, Walker, was in a same sex relationship and had a vested interest in the outcome of the case. A judge must recuse himself in such a situation. However, Walker did not and ruled against the majority of Californians and in a way that aided his interests with his “partner”.

That is Judicial Activism.

The hypothetical case cited about a female judge being biased in an “equal pay” suit is spurious. While the fictitious female judge is the same sex as the Plaintiff in the hypothetical case, the salary of a judge is completely gender-blind. The pay is set by the Government and is the same for a man.

Therefore, no personal interest in the case, and, therefore, the expectation of a finding based in law is intact.

And Judge Walker was not an outspoken advocate for gay marriage, and most only found out he was gay after the hearing.

This is not apples to apples. A potential judge should not have a history of strong political activism on either side. Such individuals do not make for good, impartial judges. They are already biased. Now it is not a factor if someone leans left or leans right, but an outright activist for any cause should not be considered for the bench.

And I don’t think we would see the New York Times argue that a Christian Activist who has publicly advocated for a return of prayer in the classroom or who wants to require Bible Study in public schools who was turned down for the bench was somehow the victim of anti-Christian bias.

Far from it. In that case, they would clearly understand that the activism was the problem, not the religion.

And so it is in Virginia. The fact that Tracy Thorne-Begland is gay is not a reason to exclude him from any court. I have a number of gay friends that I would support completely for a court appointment. But that is because they understand the Constitution and the Law and the proper role of the Judicial Branch in our Government.

Mr. Rosenthal who wrote the Editorial is “The Times’s editorial page editor since January 2007, Mr. Rosenthal oversees the editorial board, the letters and Op-Ed departments, and Sunday Review.

So, he is the boss at the Times Editorial page. And I am sure he is a smart and knowledgeable man.

But us backwater hicks down here in the South take exception to his accusations of gay bias and implications that this was somehow simply because the candidate was gay. That is simply an incorrect conclusion, with all due respect to Mr. Rosenthal.

Here in Virginia, we insist that our judges be impartial. There are fair and legitimate questions about the potential for this man to let his activist nature cloud his judgement. That is the issue.

We are not bigots here in Virginia and the New York Times is simply off base on this one.

About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog. Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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