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"California to review whether judges can be Boy Scouts"

 
 
fishin
 
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 08:58 am
http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/West/12/21/judges.scouts.ap/index.html

"SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- The California Supreme Court is considering prohibiting state judges from being members of the Boy Scouts because of its refusal to admit gays, the chief justice said.

The move, announced Thursday, comes months after San Francisco's judges and others cut ties with the organization for the same reason. The San Francisco Bar association and other groups recently asked the high court to revamp the rules.

California judicial canons, controlled by the Supreme Court, already demand that judges divest themselves from groups that discriminate against women and minorities.

Rules adopted seven years ago also forbid membership in organizations that discriminate against lesbians and gays but allow "nonprofit youth organizations," an exception for the Boy Scouts."


Disregarding any feelings you may have for or against the Boy Scouts, how do you feel about this proposal? Should your employer be able to dictate what organizations you can or can't belong to?

Is there a bit of hipocrisy going on here? These are CA state judges. The State of CA doesn't recognize gay marriages so, in effect, the state discriminates against gays. Should the CA State Judicial Canons mandate that judges can not be residents of CA too?
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 10:03 am
Interesting. Certainly, an employer cannot limit an employee's participation in political or religious groups, but what about the Boy Scouts? Are they a social group, or something more? And, as you said, let's go deeper with this - can an employer limit one's participation in any group?

What if that group is Nambla? Or Al Qaeda (assuming you're a "nonviolent participant", which is what Zacarias Moussaoui claims to be)? Or the NRA? Or a golf club that doesn't admit women?
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Sugar
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 01:48 pm
.....ggggrrrrrrr.......

Next thing they'll be telling them they can't celebrate Christmas because there's a separation between church and state.

What a person participates in on one's free time is one's own business. Meaning, stay out of my beeswax, jack.

Any person that holds public office, appointed or elected, can belong to any group they like. It is up to the people that put them there to decide whether or not their affiliations affect their posts. I suppose you could find a way to disqualify anyone.

Maybe if that kept up there'd be no one in public positions, and we'd all do a little soul searching, look in the mirror, and stop being so dam^ PC about everything to the point that you can't leave the house anymore without offending someone.


<.........gasping deep breath........>

I don't know if I even gave an answer but I certainly feel better.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 02:14 pm
I'm don't think, this will bother anybody, but with such a 'behaviour' California could never join the EU, since this would violate the Juridical Independence here.
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 02:46 pm
While I think the Boy Scout functionaries have painted themselves into a corner on the gay and atheist issue, it also seems to me that the California Supreme Court may have overstepped the bounds on this one. If people object to a judge's affiliations--be it with the Scouts, the KKK or the ACLU--they can vote for the other candidate the next time around...
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 02:55 pm
I guess maybe they're just trying to make a point?
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 02:56 pm
Precisly my point Jes! Smile

Sugar! There is an exception in the CA Cannon that exempts all "religous affiliations" but you did, I believe, address the question quite well!

Walter - I'm not sure exactly which way to read your response. Do you mean the EU wouldn't accept it because the judges are being "controlled" to an extent or because judges are allowed to be in groups that discriminate? Do EU member nations have a "Code of Conduct" of some sort for Judges? (I really need to look at European law more!)

D'artagnan - Very close to my own thoughts. They already have other prohibitions and the Scouts would just be one more. Where, oh where will it stop? Nobody knows...
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 03:02 pm
Ah! lil k, you snuck in there while I was composing. Smile

Yes, I do believe they are trying to make one. While I agree with what I think may be their motives I'm not sure I want that point made to the extent that my employer can determine my activities outside of the workplace. What if my employer is an extreme animal rights activist and decides I shouldn't be allowed to work at my job any longer if I buy a fishing license because fishing is cruel? I'd be in BIIGGG trouble!
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 03:25 pm
i may be missing the point on this but if as i understand it the BSA OFFICIALLY discriminates against gays/atheists and therefore Judges might be in conflict with statutory regulations regarding equal rights it would not seem unreasonable to require judges to not join/uphold any such organization. But again i am sure that i actually understand this issue.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 03:34 pm
I agree with dyslexia - judges are supposed to be impartial. And while not all boy scouts will be homophobic christians, they were very staunch in their policy.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 03:43 pm
fishin

Judges in Germany (and in Europe as well) can do privately what they want - with the restriction that all is legal to the national constitution (and lawfull).

So we have judges, which are extremely against homosexuals (the most prominant isn't practising in the moment, but a right-wing conservative State minister of the interior in Hamburg) or gay (some federal judges and federal prosecutors are).
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pueo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 05:03 pm
They need to leave the Scout's alone. I was a scout and look how I turned out. er, hmm, ah, maybe that's not a good example. Just forget I said anything.
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quinn1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Dec, 2002 07:48 pm
You know, its things like this that seem small or not so bad although certainly cause for some concern and they roll into bigger, larger, more wide spread ignorance/lack of privacy/etc etc etc...stupid stuff in fact. All it does in the end is back up the legal system and have mr. john doe win some big battle over something that was stupid to begin with.
I just cant believe it. Well, I can, however I'd rather not if I dont have to.
I second the arrrghh.
Next thing ya know our employers will be telling us where we can live, what car we can drive, what we can do on Monday-Friday evenings, etc. Its just not right.
Dont we all have a job to do, and arent we supposed to do that job well or...oh, um..get fired? I dont know...this just seems to be a bit too much. What exactly are they saying about Judges and who/what they should be privately/personally?
What were they thinking?????
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Dec, 2002 07:31 am
Well, employers already tell us a bit of what we can do on a Monday - Friday night by the use of random drug testing.
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Dec, 2002 07:49 am
dyslexia - I think you got the point quite well! I believe that is exactlty the issue they are trying to cover. My question back to them though is "Why not ALL organizations?" They don't have a prohibition on them being members of the PGA (which only allows men) or the LPGA (which only admits women). There is no prohibition on being residents of the state of CA (which officially discriiminates against G/L/B/Ts). There are no prohibitions on the judges religious affiliation of which many have views/policies which discriminate against gays.

But.. How far should the concerns about a judges impartiality extend? The canons already say that all judges are barred from being members in groups that discriminate in violation of the law. The lawyers that proposed this prohibition on the Boy Scouts are pushing their own agenda over the top of the fact that the Boy Scouts are well within the law.
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angie
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Feb, 2003 05:49 pm
If a case came before a judge who was known to be a BS member/supporter, could his affiliation possibly be used as grounds for a later appeal?
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Feb, 2003 09:35 pm
I think the Boy Scouts "get away" with their anti-gay, pro-God rules because they're a private organization. Same as the Augusta golf guys with their no-girls-allowed rule. Which is not to say people can't protest against such organizations. And they do!
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