Sexist Judge Recuses Himself From Equality Case


Federal Judge Leon Holmes has, who has a history of believing and saying extremely sexist things, has recused himself from a legal challenge against Arkansas’ ban on same-sex marriage because he has ties to some of the people who put that law on the ballot in that state. As ThinkProgress notes, Holmes has a real sexism problem:

Judge Holmes, who was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush, wrote in a 1997 article published in the Arkansas Catholic that wives must “subordinate” themselves to their husbands and that “the woman is to place herself under the authority of the man” just like “the church is to place herself under the protection of Christ.” The same article also alluded to Holmes’ views on sexual freedom and LGBT rights. He wrote that “[i]t is not a coincidence that the feminist movement brought with it artificial contraception and abortion on demand, with recognition of homosexual liaisons soon to follow.”

In the 1980s, Holmes emerged as a leader in Arkansas’ anti-abortion movement, writing at the time that “[c]oncern for rape victims is a red herring because conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami.”

I’ll give him credit for recusing himself, which he did voluntarily. But this guy should never have been put on the federal bench in the first place.

Comments

  1. roggg says

    Good for him…it takes courage to say I’m a sexist douche who shouldn’t be allowed to rule on gender related cases.

  2. DaveL says

    [i]t is not a coincidence that the feminist movement brought with it artificial contraception and abortion on demand, with recognition of homosexual liaisons soon to follow.”

    Well, he’s right on this one. Don’t hold your breath, though, waiting for him to concede the threads that bind these things together are freedom and equality.

  3. says

    In the 1980s, Holmes emerged as a leader in Arkansas’ anti-abortion movement, writing at the time that “[c]oncern for rape victims is a red herring because conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami.”

    Dateline: The Future. Snow fell in Miami today. The Rightwing says Miami “shouldn’t have dressed like that” and “was asking for it”.

  4. grumpyoldfart says

    But this guy should never have been put on the federal bench in the first place.

    Yet there he is! How did that happen?

  5. Michael Heath says

    Think Progress reports:

    [Judge Leon Holmes] wrote in a 1997 article published in the Arkansas Catholic that wives must “subordinate” themselves to their husbands and that “the woman is to place herself under the authority of the man” just like “the church is to place herself under the protection of Christ.”

    Ed concludes:

    [Judge Leon] Holmes has a real sexism problem. . .
    […]
    [Holmes] should never have been put on the federal bench in the first place.

    This misogynistic bull-crap is standard issue dogma for American evangelicals and fundamentalists. Especially given the Bible’s New Testament explicitly promoting this type of misogyny and slavish submissiveness. It’s being in the New Testament makes it New Covenant material and therefore impossible to sweep under the rug like they do with so many Old Testament passages when it’s convenient to do so. So, are all those tens of millions of Americans who are members of such churches also disqualified? Or should they at least be scrutinized on whether they’ll serve their dogma or the country?

    The simplistic answer is no; that as long as they demonstrably separate their individual beliefs from their behavior when acting as the government, their religious freedom right should remain protected. However, how many of these Christians are capable of violating the edicts of their holy dogma when it’s in competition with the secularist demands of government action? I think very few given I observe zero. That’s why we continually observe Christians leveraging the power of government in a way that infringes on the religious freedom rights of millions of citizens; all while falsely claiming they’re the defenders of the Constitution and liberty.

    We need to be far more strident in calling these Americans out for the way they actually behave. To not do so guarantees far too many of us will continue to see our own government infringe upon certain rights the Constitution explicitly obligates them to protect. Rights that when violated, cause so many to be abused and suffer.

  6. Michael Heath says

    roggg writes:

    Good for [Judge Holmes]…it takes courage to say I’m a sexist douche who shouldn’t be allowed to rule on gender related cases.

    Wildly untrue that has you giving the Judge kudos that are not earned. The motivation as reported by Think Progress:

    Holmes’ recusal from the case, which challenges Arkansas’ ban on same-sex marriage, is unrelated to his past writings proclaiming subordinate role for wives — although not unrelated to his ties to conservative activism. Holmes “cited personal and professional relationships with leaders who drafted and campaigned for the ban” as the basis of his recusal.

  7. otrame says

    His beliefs are appalling, but they are also very common. Yet, he apparently is willing to admit a bias he can’t work around. His previously stated abhorrence of one side of the issue, and much more importantly, his connection with the other side, makes him unable to perform his job correctly and he has said so. I’m not sure that makes him a bad judge. Outside of gender-role and LGBT issues, he may be exemplary.

    Yes, I know it is unlikely, but the truth is that people who disagree with me about the nature of reality are not necessarily evil bastards. The results of their beliefs may be evil, but they themselves are often rather nice people able to be reasonable, decent and compassionate human beings outside of certain areas where religion has caused focal defects in their reason, decency and compassion.

    Of course it is far more likely that he recused himself because someone told him that his relationship with the anti-gay crowd was going to ensure that whatever ruling he made would be more challengeable during appeals. And that he is, in fact, an asshole in everything he does.

  8. John Pieret says

    conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami

    The good news is that such bullshit can now sink a senatorial candidate and probably prevent a judicial nomination from getting through the Senate.

  9. D. C. Sessions says

    But this guy should never have been put on the federal bench in the first place.

    Well, that depends on whether you’re looking for a radical activist judge who would roll back decades of progress regardless of the law. For instance, someone who would place greater weight on “equal dignity of the States” than on the Fifteenth Amendment. Or, in this case, someone who would place greater weight on religious dogma than on US statutes.

  10. says

    “[c]oncern for rape victims is a red herring because conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami.”

    This is one of the most disturbing sentiments amongst the misogynistic douchefucks on the American right. And also one of the most nonsensical. Why should sex from rape be any less likely to produce offspring than any other kind of sex? It’s just fucking stupid to act like pregnancy from rape can’t happen.

    But luckily, as Jon Pieret said, we are finally entering a more enlightened age where the public sees this bullshit for what it is and refuses to vote for these kinds of people. Hopefully we’ll be seeing it less and less.

    He wrote that “[i]t is not a coincidence that the feminist movement brought with it artificial contraception and abortion on demand, with recognition of homosexual liaisons soon to follow.”

    Of course it’s not a coincidence that the success of feminism meant they achieved several explicit goals that they set out to achieve. Brilliant deductive work there, Sherlock.

    But once again, there’s a positive sign here in that this guy has clearly been left behind by public opinion. He hears great evil in the term “artificial contraception”, while most of the public wouldn’t even bat an eye at it. Bit by bit, slowly but surely, the bigots are losing.

  11. dingojack says

    “Judge Holmes, … wrote in a 1997 article published in the Arkansas Catholic that wives must “subordinate” themselves to their husbands and that “the woman is to place herself under the authority of the man” just like “the church is to place herself under the protection of Christ.””

    As pointed out above – it’s right there in the bible*, it’s a core belief (apparently) for evangelistic/ fundamentalist Christians. Perhaps it’s time we start saying that 1st century (or perhaps later) misogyny is not acceptable within courts of law.

    roggg -“…it takes courage to say I’m a sexist douche….”
    Except he didn’t. As Michael pointed out above (and it bears repeating), he ‘recused himself from a legal challenge against Arkansas’ ban on same-sex marriage because he has ties to some of the people who put that law on the ballot in that state.” as Ed put it. Not because of any recognition of a underlying douchbaggery.

    Dingo
    ——-
    * Ephesians 5:22-23 uses almost the exact same phrasing.

    PS: Are juries agents of the state? If so are they also prevented from having opinions/biases toward or against the defendant on trial?

  12. dingojack says

    Concerning snowfalls in Florida. Looks like pregnancy due to rape should occur a rates lower than 0.05 per year during the 20th century, but less than 1 every year since 2001.
    Yeah that’s just so believable. @@
    It’s a small mercy that this knucklehead took up the law rather than obstetrics, I guess (looking for ‘the glass half full’ conclusion).
    @@
    Dingo

Leave a Reply