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Thread: Should Presiding Judges be allowed to preach their Religion in the Courtroom?

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    Should Presiding Judges be allowed to preach their Religion in the Courtroom?

    Did anyone else see this? I noticed the incident before the article appeared and thought the judges actions out of line.

    Judge gives bible and preaches to convicted murderer

    During the four-minute encounter between the judge and Guyger, according to the complaint, Kemp told the 31-year-old former Dallas cop, “It’s not because I’m good. It’s because I believe in Christ. I’m not so good. You haven’t done as much as you think you have, and you can be forgiven. You did something bad in one moment in time. What you do now matters.”
    The judge also gave to her one of her personal bibles.

    A judge doing this, particularly while performing public duty in a courtroom in which she is presiding, is definitely a breach of separation. She should not be allowed to do this and should receive a letter directing her to cease and desist. I doubt she thought she was doing anything wrong, or maybe just didn't care, emotions and all taking over.

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    Shouldn't be a judge anymore.

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    The farther south you go, the more this happens. FFRF's legal team has dealt with this several times in recent memory -- sometimes, but not always successfully. Some judges set themselves up as junior satraps.

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    Senior Member Tharmas's Avatar
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    I saw this live, as the Guyger trial was heavily covered by local media and this event occurred during the six PM news. In fairness to the judge, the trial was over, including victim impact statements and sentencing. The judge had come down off the bench, although she was still in her robes so that distinction may be moot. The emotions were indeed running very high at the moment, as the victim’s brother had just publicly forgiven Guyger and hugged her in the courtroom, whereupon Guyger completely broke down.

    I thought about how religious conversions often happen under extreme emotional distress, and how the religious know this and can take advantage of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Shouldn't be a judge anymore.
    This all happened about a mile from Jeffress' ("Trump's farts smell sweet") First Baptist Church, so I wouldn't hold my breath on that.
    Last edited by Tharmas; 10-04-2019 at 09:42 PM.

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    Should Presiding Judges be allowed to preach their Religion in the Courtroom?

    That might depend on the nature and extent of the preaching. A few isolated minutes shouldn’t violate any reasonable sense of a proper notion of separation of church and state.

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    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fast View Post
    Should Presiding Judges be allowed to preach their Religion in the Courtroom?

    That might depend on the nature and extent of the preaching. A few isolated minutes shouldn’t violate any reasonable sense of a proper notion of separation of church and state.
    What the fuck is a 'proper' notion of CSS?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith&Co. View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by fast View Post
    Should Presiding Judges be allowed to preach their Religion in the Courtroom?

    That might depend on the nature and extent of the preaching. A few isolated minutes shouldn’t violate any reasonable sense of a proper notion of separation of church and state.
    What the fuck is a 'proper' notion of CSS?
    https://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/grammar.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith&Co. View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by fast View Post
    Should Presiding Judges be allowed to preach their Religion in the Courtroom?

    That might depend on the nature and extent of the preaching. A few isolated minutes shouldn’t violate any reasonable sense of a proper notion of separation of church and state.
    What the fuck is a 'proper' notion of CSS?
    The noun phrase “separation of church and state” refers to something, but the phrase itself is a label that although is meant to capture the essence of what it refers to, it doesn’t capture the nuances pertinent to it; it would be a mistake therefore to allow a proper notion to hinge on a strict adherence to the meaning of a word contained in a label.

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    Senior Member Tharmas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tharmas View Post

    [snip]...The emotions were indeed running very high at the moment, as the victim’s brother had just publicly forgiven Guyger and hugged her in the courtroom, whereupon Guyger completely broke down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Shouldn't be a judge anymore.
    A lawyer I know suggested that the judge will be reprimanded, and the fact that since the incident she has defended her actions in public will only make it worse for her.

    Another person I know, in this case a prison guard, said the judge should be reprimanded for giving permission to the victim’s brother to step down out of the witness box to hug the defendant. Who knows what he might have done? This opens the door to allow future witnesses to physically contact the defendant. Not good.

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    She’s been my best friend since the second grade. I went over and sat with her on the couch. We talked and listened to music and even fell asleep. You came in and caught us (your girlfriend and I) asleep together.

    Nobody was doing anything wrong. But then again, it flies against the expectations culturally instilled in us, so there’s the unwritten rule not to put ourselves in such situations. It’s not a wrong in and of itself but a manufactured wrong based on expectations.

    A cop enjoys a free gift. A gift not as a bribe. Not as an expectation to do otherwise should things be different. But then, it can look bad and expectations are such that the non-wrongs should be avoided, not because they are in fact wrong but questionable.

    When an actual rule is put in place to avoid questionable potentially image affecting circumstances, a violation of that rule is a wrong in and of itself but secondary (or at least substantively different). Why it’s a rule in the first place isn’t to avoid only wrongs but potential wrongs.

    When the judge did what he did, he didn’t commit an actual constitutional wrong. I’m not saying there can not be another source in law that could prop up a secondary rule rendering his actions unacceptable by rule of law, but it’s still not a constitutional issue because what he did is neither akin to forcing someone to partake in communion nor the forbiddance of it—no forced prayer—no mandatory church attendance. There were religious-based overtones but no governmental mandate that anyone adhere to his personal non-governmental ramblings.

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