Young knows gay marriage ruling upset some

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The federal judge who struck down Indiana's gay marriage ban said he's well aware his decision upset some people, but that federal judges can't let public opinion sway their decisions.

U.S. District Judge Richard Young said it's for the common good that federal judges are immune to political pressure, indifferent to opinion polls and not beholden even to the politicians who appoint them. That freedom allows them to concern themselves only with the cases before them, he said.

"You determine the facts, and you apply the facts to the law," he told the Evansville Courier & Press. "Our forefathers, in determining that federal judges have lifetime tenure and should be isolated from politics, turns out to be a very wise decision."

Young ruled last Wednesday that Indiana's same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional. His ruling allowed hundreds of gay and lesbian couples around the state to obtain marriage licenses around Indiana, and many of them were wed.

The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay Friday putting Young's ruling — and county clerks' ability to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples — on hold.

Young said his office received "a significant number of calls" after his ruling, but staff members handled those calls.

"I haven't talked to anybody, but they call in and, you know, we're here to serve the public and we can't ignore those calls. We have to answer them, talk to them, and listen," the judge said.

Young has a ready answer for anyone who might believe his ruling was judicial activism at its worst.

"They call it judicial activism if they don't agree with the decision," he said. "If they agree with the decision, then it's certainly not judicial activism. That means the judge is following the law and doing the right thing."

Young began his career not in courtrooms but in Democratic Party politics, when he helped with then-Sen. Birch Bayh's 1976 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The 61-year-old Iowa native has voted in Democratic primaries several times during his 24 years on the state and federal benches. He cast his last such ballot in 2008, the year Indiana's Democratic presidential primary assumed a pivotal role in the nomination battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

"Coming in to Evansville, not knowing a whole lot of people, becoming involved in politics was a way for me to meet a lot of people with similar interests," he said Friday.

Young was nominated for the federal bench in 1997 by then-President Bill Clinton to succeed retiring federal judge Gene E. Brooks. He took office in March 1998 after approval by the Senate.


  • no classes etc etc
    someone said "You can't grant some people certain rights and leave a group out." One the contrary! Many such examples exist to the contrary. Such as for minors. Or other types of incapacity based on age, felony conviction status, mental incompetence, citizenship, all of these "discriminate" between groups......... laws protecting property rights discriminate between the owners and non-owners..... shall we get rid of all those too? How about laws "discriminating" between prisoners serving sentencing in jail, and others not? Damn near every law has some kind of discrimination involved in one sense or another. So the notion that laws should not "discriminate' is linguistically meaningless. It's a whole lot of malarkey, some kind of naïve Rosseauvian Enlightenment sophistry, a verbal parlour trick to befuddle well meaning people into acquiescing to the extreme social engineering agenda of the radical homosexual lobby.
  • NOT
    the constitution does not say anything about "laws shall not be passed for purely religious reasons." that is not the first amendment. If we look at the First amendment it says in fact that "CONGRESS" shall make no laws and early American states were much involved with religion, democratically so. Oh America its all about getting its citizens to die with a mouthful of sand for O. I. L. and "democracy" and then not get to have it at home.
  • egregious
    What is even worse, discrimination piled upon animus, is that currently, under the unjust law as it is now, only women can have babies. Well president snow will not have it so. I hereby decree it every man`s right to have babies. So let it be written, so let it be done.
  • Legal Status of married couples and civil rights
    The legal status of Married can currently only be bestowed on opposite couples. that is a violation of the civil rights of same sex coupes. It would be like if the state of Indiana said it's perfectly legal for everyone in Indiana to smoke weed,...except white people. You can't grant some people certain rights and leave a group out. Also, you can't enact a law for purely religious reasons. That is a violation of the 'establishment clause'. Laws may only be enacted for secular reasons only. If you ask the average guy on the street why gay marriage should be banned and he will tell you that's what the bible says, and at exactly that point you lose the legal argument.
    • whatever
      well to be fair to the judge, he has to follow the US supreme court which already ruled how they ruled. so the fix is already in. but the idea that the constitution of 1787 or the fourteenth amendment prohibits a definition of marriage as confined to heterosexual couples would have been unthinkable to the framers of either. so I guess now the constitution just means whatever we want it to, whatever is popular with the kinds of lobbies that are active in filing these kinds of social engineering lawsuits, and calling all traditional and religious institutions bigotry. OK, whatever, as the teenagers say

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    1. Great observation Smith. By my lights, speaking personally, they already have. They counted my religious perspective in a pro-life context as a symptom of mental illness and then violated all semblance of due process to banish me for life from the Indiana bar. The headline reveals the truth of the Hoosier elite's animus. Details here: Denied 2016 petition for cert (this time around): (“2016Pet”) Amicus brief 2016: (“2016Amici”) As many may recall, I was banned for five years for failing to "repent" of my religious views on life and the law when a bar examiner demanded it of me, resulting in a time out to reconsider my "clinging." The time out did not work, so now I am banned for life. Here is the five year time out order: Denied 2010 petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): (“2010Pet”) Read this quickly if you are going to read it, the elites will likely demand it be pulled down or pile comments on to bury it. (As they have buried me.)

    2. if the proabortion zealots and intolerant secularist anti-religious bigots keep on shutting down every hint of religious observance in american society, or attacking every ounce of respect that the state may have left for it, they may just break off their teeth.

    3. "drug dealers and traffickers need to be locked up". "we cannot afford just to continue to build prisons". "drug abuse is strangling many families and communities". "establishing more treatment and prevention programs will also be priorities". Seems to be what politicians have been saying for at least three decades now. If these are the most original thoughts these two have on the issues of drug trafficking and drug abuse, then we're no closer to solving the problem than we were back in the 90s when crack cocaine was the epidemic. We really need to begin demanding more original thought from those we elect to office. We also need to begin to accept that each of us is part of the solution to a problem that government cannot solve.

    4. What is with the bias exclusion of the only candidate that made sense, Rex Bell? The Democrat and Republican Party have created this problem, why on earth would anyone believe they are able to fix it without pushing government into matters it doesn't belong?

    5. This is what happens when daddy hands over a business to his moron son and thinks that everything will be ok. this bankruptcy is nothing more than Gary pulling the strings to never pay the creditors that he and his son have ripped off. they are scum and they know it.