California bars judges from joining Boy Scouts due to anti-gay discrimination

  • metta

    Posts: 39099

    Jan 24, 2015 5:09 PM GMT
    California bars judges from joining Boy Scouts due to anti-gay discrimination

    The court said its seven justices unanimously voted to heed a recommendation by its ethics advisory committee barring judges’ affiliation with the organization.

    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2015/01/california-bars-judges-from-joining-boy-scouts-due-to-anti-gay-discrimination/
  • Apparition

    Posts: 3521

    Jan 24, 2015 5:48 PM GMT
    unless they ban religious affiliation, what difference does it make, they are the biggest offenders.
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    Jan 24, 2015 6:40 PM GMT
    Soon the Boy Scouts will only exist in Red States, where gay discrimination is legal & praised.
  • Svnw688

    Posts: 3350

    Jan 24, 2015 7:27 PM GMT
    Apparition saidunless they ban religious affiliation, what difference does it make, they are the biggest offenders.


    I understand what you're saying, but the situations are not legally similar. The Boy Scouts is a civic (non-religious) organization. Churches are by definition religious. This distinction matters because of the 1st Amendment to the Federal Constitution (and the California State Constitution counterpart) which prohibits the Ethics Committee Advisory Board/California Supreme Court from preventing a judge from practicing his/her religion (no matter how "bigoted" it might be, well there probably are a few limits, but they'd be extreme and likely criminal in nature).
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    Jan 24, 2015 8:58 PM GMT
    That's really stupid and overreaching on the Court's part.

    Anyway, doesn't the BSA now allow gay scouts to participate?
  • Svnw688

    Posts: 3350

    Jan 24, 2015 9:29 PM GMT
    @SfSwimmer

    I believe a gay scout can participate now, but gay "leaders" are still forbidden.
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    Jan 24, 2015 11:33 PM GMT
    Svnw688 said@SfSwimmer

    I believe a gay scout can participate now, but gay "leaders" are still forbidden.


    That's what I thought. Anyway, I still think the order goes to far. A judge could disclose his or her affiliations in a case involving the BSA or issues of sexual-orientation discrimination and the parties could decide if they want to disqualify him or her. Problem solved. To equate volunteering with the BSA as an implicit ratification of alleged discrimination against gay leaders is foolish.
  • Svnw688

    Posts: 3350

    Jan 24, 2015 11:38 PM GMT
    While I agree with this particular decision, it's actually a bit scary how much power state bars (aka, state supreme courts) have.

    Hypothetically: IF the California Supreme Court wanted to issue the same order regarding, say, Catholics, could it? While I originally thought there were federal constitutional limits, I'm not so sure now.

    Absolute authority and control over a state bar rests in each respective state supreme court. IF a state constitution didn't have a religion 'free exercise' provision, would the federal constitution be implicated? I doubt it. Again, practicing law is a "privilege" and not a "right," so there'd be absolutely no due process violation. Even if you could assume a due process violation, the bar's standard line of "we need to protect the public from unscrupulous lawyers and regulate the practice of law" would trump any individual interest.

    More interestingly, admission to a particular state bar has federal implications (i.e., regarding admissions to the district courts of residing in that state). So there is some federal concern (beyond the standard interstate commerce issues).