Posted by: Scott Groves | March 4, 2012

Who cares if judges are gay-

In 2006 a bill was signed into law that required all judges in California to fill out demographic surveys.  These surveys require that the judges identify themselves by name.  The bill stemmed from concern by some law-makers in Sacramento that Arnold Schwarzenegger wasn’t appointing “enough” women and minority judges to the bench.

Without going into 20 paragraphs about how ridiculous this claim against Schwarzenegger is, I just have to say that this is the type of march towards affirmative action paranoia that makes it so annoying to live in California.  The only reason we would need to “track” the demographics of state Judges is if politicians have some master plan to institute mandatory minority hiring.   As with any job, the goal should be to attract the most talented, skilled and hard-working person to the position.  Sex, ethnicity, financial demographic and/or sexual orientation should have nothing to do with the process.  Appointing a judge should be about education, intelligence, case-history, experience and a devotion to up-holding the laws of the state.  Nothing else should matter.

The survey, although objectionable, has been in place with little or no coverage from the media at large.  However, recent changes to the survey in 2011 may bring this issue to the front of page of the Los Angeles Times very shortly.  Starting this year, judges will need to identify their sexual orientation as part of the questionnaire.

In my opinion this is absolutely disgusting.

No-one should care about the sexual orientation of the state’s judges and it should not be required reporting for a judgeship.  If I’m standing trial for some crime, it absolutely does not matter and there should be no consideration whether the person behind the raised podium is attracted to a man or a woman.

The most disturbing part about this survey is that they it is not anonymous.  If the surveys were anonymous, one could almost argue that legislators are using this reporting to get a snapshot regarding the demographics of the people who interrupt our laws.  However, with Judges having to identify themselves by name, this raises real concern and I have to imagine is illegal.

What if this information is ever leaked?  Can you imagine the backlash if the judge assigned to rule on Prop 8 happens to be gay?  Will prosecutor start to push for straight judges in hate crimes against gays in fear that a gay judge can’t hand down a fair legal ruling?  Will legislators now use their knowledge about judges sexual orientation while deciding on promotions and special assignments?  The negative implications are vast, this sets a horrible precedent and should concerns both heterosexuals and homosexuals.

How can advocates for the gay community not be completely offended by this bill.  I happened to come across it deep on the web on some obscure libertarian site I visit.  California’s law-makers are so out of control it’s mind-boggling. Who cares if judges are gay or straight. There is absolutely no reason for this law or its corresponding “survey” to exist. This survey can only do one of two things 1) Alienate judges on certain cases due to their sexual orientation 2) Set up some type of march towards affirmative action hiring for judges – both of which are unacceptable.


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