Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sometimes a Story Does Have a Good Ending – Openly Gay Man Appointed as Judge After Prejudicial Rejection by Republican Legislators

Sometimes the Process of Justice Actually Results in Justice

About a month ago this Forum commented on the rejection of an openly gay person to be a judge in the state of Virginia

THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2012

Ah, Bigotry Rears Its Ugly Head in Virginia as Republican Deny Judgeship to Person Because He is Openly Gay

An Embarrassing Turn Of Events, Embarrassing Because It is Not Embarrassing to the Republicans

If there is any doubt that Republicans favor a merit based society their position on Affirmative Action should erase all doubts.  Republicans are firmly opposed to any programs that try to make up for prejudice and injustice of the past, because they say everyone should be judged on their merits, and not on their personal characteristics.  Discrimination is wrong, utterly and totally wrong they say.

Of course this meritocracy position is shattered by what Republicans actually do. In Virginia they have rejected confirmation of a judge for that state for the sole reason that he is gay.

The Virginia House of Delegates rejected the judicial nomination of a gay prosecutor on Tuesday after conservative Republican lawmakers argued that the nominee would press an activist agenda.

The reason for the rejection was neither hidden nor complex, Republicans voted against the gentleman because he was an openly gay person.

Apparently courts in Virginia can make appointments to the bench all by themselves when there is a temporary vacancy, and that is exactly what has happened.

RICHMOND — Circuit Court judges have appointed an openly gay prosecutor to the bench just a month after the General Assembly rejected his nomination.
Tracy Thorne-Begland’s appointment to the city District Court judgeship is temporary, lasting only until the next General Assembly session.

There is no question that Mr. Thorne-Begland was qualified to serve.

Earlier this week, leaders of Richmond’s five largest law firms urged the city’s Circuit Court judges to appoint him to the bench.

And just to put the icing on the cake, and to make everyone (bigots excluded of course) feel even better there is this.

It infuriated Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William), who along with the Family Foundation of Virginia helped convince the General Assembly that Thorne-Begland was unfit for the bench.

All in all, a good result all the way around.

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