An Oregon circuit court judge is battling the war of his life as the predominately liberal Oregon Supreme Court prepares to hear his case of trumped up charges to remove him from the bench. Charges that directly violate his right to practice his religion as protected under the First Amendment. But that is not all he is facing, as it gets much worse for the embattled principled judge.
Marion County Judge Vance Day’s nightmare began when he refused to perform same-sex marriages, instead opting to have his staff refer couples to other judges in the county. As a result of Day standing up for his religious convictions he is now burdened with more than $600,000 in legal fees exceeding five times his salary of $124,628 a year. And to make matters worse, as of Nov. 2016 felony criminal charges has been brought against the Judge as well.
Day’s case is similar to KY circuit court clerk Kim Davis’s case in that he states it is his long standing religious belief homosexuality is a sin, and therefore God’s law does not allow marriages between couples of the same sex.
Day maintains for him to perform such services will deny him his protected religious rights and place him in a situation of knowingly condoning and committing sin himself. Yet there is a big difference between the clerk’s case and that of Day’s:
It is in the job description of the KY clerk to issue marriage licenses and a required duty. However, in the case of Day, judges are allowed to perform marriage ceremonies, but are not required to do so. Performing marriage ceremonies in Oregon is a voluntary option for a judge, and not a legally bound duty.
However, sensing a brewing controversy, Day opted to stop performing all marriage ceremonies, and yet that still did not satisfy the far left liberal Judicial Ethics Board in Oregon. Instead, they took action to remove Day from the bench and permanently prohibit him from being a judge.
While appealing the decision, Day has been barred from his office, prevented from carrying out his bench duties and basically been stripped of his judgeship by ordering him to perform “work” at his home. What “work?”
How can a circuit court judge fulfill his oath and perform the duties of his office from his home? The type of work is up to a fellow colleague to assign, but it is unclear what work Day is able to perform while banned from his bench and office. Basically, Day is already being penalized before due process of law has been completed.
According to a Washington Times report, Day was appointed to the judgeship in 2011 by Democratic Governor John Kitzhaber, and was elected to the bench in 2012 by Oregon voters.
A friend of Day’s, Pat Korten, who served in Reagan’s Department of Justice, told the Times since Day had been Oregon’s GOP chairman, liberals targeted the judge from the beginning.
“The state’s liberal Democrat establishment reacted the way the human body’s immune system reacts to an infection, not least because he had been Oregon GOP chairman for the prior four years,” Korten said.
Day maintains he has no ill feelings towards homosexuals and lesbians, and in fact has friends who are openly gay. Nor does he have a problem with other judges performing same sex marriages, but his personal religious faith forbids him from doing so. He defends his actions by pointing out under the law he is not required to perform marriage ceremonies.
“Oregon authorizes but does not require judges to preside over wedding ceremonies,” Day told the Times, while adding, “It’s not a part of the job.”
Given the weak legal case on the marriage issue, the Judicial Ethics Committee went digging for more dirt and later added more accusations of violations, one involving Day’s son. Apparently if liberals are unable to make the marriage issue stick, they seek to make the father pay for the “misdeeds” of the son.
Day and his son volunteer in a program which works with U.S. military veterans who have been in trouble and one in which assists veterans in overcoming their trauma and guides them into becoming productive citizens in society. Day also presides over a veterans court treatment program.
The incident cited by the ethic’s committee involves a visit by the judge and his son to ex-US Navy Seal Team Six member Brian Shehan’s house to repair a stove. During the visit, Day’s son showed Shehan a new firearm he had recently purchased and talked with Shehan about his interest in choosing the military as a future career.
Day’s son sought out Shehan later in the day without the judge’s knowledge, seeking some training in firing his new weapon with the hopes of getting a jumpstart before entering the military. Shehan and Day’s son practiced shooting the gun that day, an event the judge did not find out about until after the fact.
Day’s son knew Shehan was in the court treatment program but assumed Shehan was, like the other members of the program, a misdemeanor violator and did not know the ex-Navy Seal was the only convicted felon.
Although the veterans court program handles misdemeanor cases, Shehan was in the program as a felon for a third DUI offense, and was prohibited from owning or handling a firearm at the time under Oregon’s convicted felons laws.
Shehan had initially pled guilty to the felony, but the DUI charge was later reduced to a misdemeanor. After learning of the incident, the judicial ethics committee pounced to find Day guilty of firearm violations committed by his son and Shehan.
And yet putting Day through a financially devastating and lengthy battle to fight the trumped up and frivolously unfounded ethic’s charges to oust him from the bench apparently is not enough. Progressive Democrats have succeeded in getting Day indicted on felony firearm charges; a crime never committed by Day himself forcing even more legal fees on the embattled judge.
According to a Nov. 17 Oregon Live story, Day was secretly indicted by a grand jury on “two counts of aiding and abetting in the crime of a felon in a possession of a firearm and two accounts of misconduct.”
Day’s defense attorney, Michael De Muniz, denies the charges and states they are false, according to the Oregon Live report.
“We have been aware of the Attorney General’s investigation for several months and cooperated with every stage of the process,” De Muniz announced.
“We are extremely disappointed in the Attorney General’s decision to pursue these charges. Judge Day is innocent and is looking forward to defending himself at trial before a jury of his peers,” he added.
We live in a country where anyone can bring unfounded accusations and sue another individual is a legal right, but at what cost to the innocent victim such as Judge Day? Rather than dismiss obvious political and religious attacks from the start, liberal activists judges and “ethics” committees across the country are using the court system to attack and ruin innocent people solely based on their personal political views and/or religious convictions.
These “judges” are not ruling according to the law of the land, but are using their power and authority to install from the bench their “own” laws to force others into submitting to their progressive liberal ideologies in fulfilling an agenda to “transform” the United States and silence those “truths” espoused by the Founding Fathers and penned in the Constitution.
Though Judge Day has what appears to be an insurmountable challenge to overcome this attack by liberal progressives, he still maintains hope and a belief in a system that justice will prevail in the end even if it bankrupts him financially. A man willing to stand strong in his faith by obeying God’s law over man’s perversion of the law of the land, the Constitution.
Judge Day is to be commended for his selfless acts to help our veterans, not punished. He should be commended for his faith in the legal system. Very few Americans believe the justice system to be fair and lady justice to be blind to biases; a lack of faith not unfounded given the liberal progressives’ perversion of the system in recent decades.