Anti-Gay Group Wants Kagan and Ginsburg to Recuse from Marriage Case

Illustration for article titled Anti-Gay Group Wants Kagan and Ginsburg to Recuse from Marriage Case

The frothingly anti-gay American Family Association is pushing Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan to remove themselves from the upcoming case that will decide whether same-sex marriage is protected under the Constitution. They're arguing that both women have officiated at gay weddings, making them "activists" for homosexuality.


SCOTUS will be reviewing the same-sex marriage case in April; in an email blast today, the AFA wrote that Kagan and Ginsburg "should recuse themselves from any cases involving the homosexual marriage issue." They add, "Both of these justices' personal and private actions actively endorsing gay marriage clearly indicate how they would vote on same-sex marriage cases already before the Supreme Court."

Ginsburg officiated at the Washington wedding of Kennedy Center president Michael Kaiser and his economist husband John Roberts, while Kagan was the officiant for the Maryland wedding of her former law clerk Mitchell Reich and his husband Patrick Pearsall. The AFA says that makes them unfit to impartially rule: "Both Kagan and Ginsburg have not only been partial to same-sex marriage, they have proven themselves to be activists in favor of it!"


The Supremes typically only recuse themselves when they have a financial interest in a case, and it's true that there's no real way to make sure a justice recuses him or herself for a case in which they have a conflict of interest. Ginsburg has been called on before to recuse herself in abortion cases, because she's made clear and unambiguous pro-choice statements. Clarence Thomas was petitioned to recuse himself from the Obamacare case because of his wife's work as a lobbyist agitating for the repeal of the law. Slate's Amanda Marcotte argued that Justice Antonin Scalia should recuse himself from the case on buffer zones around abortion clinics, since his wife sits on the board of a crisis pregnancy center organization.

And the AFA is surely making this argument because they're a reasonable and unbiased group of people. After all, AFA President and founder Bryan Fischer claimed that homosexuality caused the rise of the Nazi Party, which is an entirely sane thing to believe and say out loud. They've been calling for Ginsburg and Kagan to recuse themselves since at least October, when Fischer started writing editorials about it, which always put the words "gay marriage" in quotes.

Weirdly, though, Fischer hasn't suggested that Justice Antonin Scalia recuse himself, despite the fact that he, too, is clearly biased—having groused about the "so-called homosexual agenda" in a 2003 dissenting opinion in Lawrence v. Texas, the case that struck down anti-sodomy laws. He also hasn't suggested that Clarence Thomas recuse himself for brazenly performing straight marriages, specifically Rush Limbaugh's beautiful and built-to-last wedding to his fourth wife.

Image via AP

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This just in: Supreme Court Justices have opinions.