Bench Memos

California Outing Gay Judges?

The Weekly Standard reports that California’s judicial bureaucracy has determined that it’s “crucial” that state judges report to it their sexual orientation (as well as “gender identification”). Why? Because in the diversity-demented republic that is doggedly descending into Third World-dom, aggregate data “on race/ethnicity, gender identification, and sexual orientation” is somehow necessary “to garnering legislative support for securing critically needed judgeships.” Evidently, concerns about securing justice for California’s citizens aren’t weighty enough.

The bureaucracy promises to keep individual responses confidential and only to report aggregate data “by jurisdiction.” But given how easily even highly classified information protected from disclosure by criminal laws gets leaked, why would any judge trust that promise? Further, data from jurisdictions with a small number of judges would invite speculation. Plus, a gay judge who chooses to stay entirely in the closet may not particularly mind that the resulting underreporting of gay judges might well lead to pressure to appoint more gay judges.

I’d strongly prefer to know nothing about the sexual orientation (much less the gender self-misidentification) of any judges. (As I’ve made clear in discussing former judge Vaughn Walker’s failure to recuse himself from the anti-Prop 8 case notwithstanding his long-term same-sex relationship, the simplest path for Walker would have been to have the case re-assigned at the outset. No disclosure, no questions.)


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