Letter: Impeach judge

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  • BoMerit Alpine, UT
    Dec. 30, 2013 2:45 p.m.

    I agree that Judge Shelby's actions are impeachable offenses and would whole-heartedly approve of attempts to remove him from his bench. To disregard standard processes and bypass the time requirement to give both sides a chance to present is a form of Treason itself. I'm sure all judges have ideas of what the law "should" read in a perfect world, but the requirements to acknowledge the law in its current state is to respect the legislative process, which is the heart of the democratic portion of our republican gov't. This judge is legislating from the bench, and therefore is a threat to our constitution. I say impeach is we can do it through outlined processes in law.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 11:26 p.m.

    The irresponsible editorials of this paper do lead to letters like this. Calling the opinion "tyranny" was a mistake. Do you advocate sending the army out to confiscate the certificates when the legislature meets and goes crazy on this issue soon?

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 28, 2013 10:16 p.m.

    "The law is still on the books"

    That is an interesting comment. That Utah's marriage laws are still on the books seems correct. Which means that same-sex marriages should be unlawful. And it means marriage licenses issued to same sex applicants by county clerks are of no value... and it means that those SSM are not in effect.

    The only thing that Judge Shelby did was say that Amendment 3 to Utah's Constitution cannot go into effect. But that does not mean Utah's marriage laws are null and void.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Dec. 28, 2013 9:51 p.m.

    Making a decision we might disagree with isn't "impeachable." Time to get a grip.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 28, 2013 7:50 p.m.

    "You mean like those judges on the Supreme Court who declared that corporations are people?"

    Corporations are designated as 'people' in order to create a business entity that can have wide-spread ownership, (such as JC Penneys, sears, Chrysler, etc.), can have protection of owners from being sued, and can sue and be sued sue without the entire ownership's approval. These are just a few reasons for the designation. There are many others.

    The fact that corporations are designated as 'people' does not mean they eat lunch, marry, play golf, etc. It's not rocket science.

  • Miss Piggie Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 28, 2013 7:38 p.m.

    "Judge Shelby has not committed any impeachable offense."

    Neither did Clinton... but he got impeached by the House, nonetheless. The only thing they had on him was something about a blue dress.

    It's expected that one man cannot override the vote of the majority... else we have a dictatorship. Oooops, I think we have one now, with... Obama.

    "We work on a system of laws based on books of law..."

    We do, indeed... and the law on Utah's books says that marriage must be between one man and one woman. The issue in this case is about including the requirement in the State Constitution. The law is still on the books

    "Judge Shelby is doing noble work here."

    He's doing it like a dictator would. Not a good idea for the good of the people of the state of Utah and the nation.

    "If the State thinks Judge Shelby misapplied the law, its remedy is to appeal his decision."

    True, but in serious cases such as nullifying a long standing state law, he should have stayed the judgement until it reached the highest court. As it is, there's alotta marriages that might be in jeopardy.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Dec. 28, 2013 6:37 p.m.

    "I like the way progresives wrap themselves in the constitution and the rule of law when it suites them."

    Yes, handy isn't it. Seems the constitution is one size fits all. Either side can wear it easily. Whats ever better is the "bill of rights" snuggy. Just hunker down on your couch and with its handy little arm holes, you can hit the remote when things are presented that don't match beliefs.

  • Jim Holmes Ventura, CA
    Dec. 28, 2013 6:51 a.m.

    Why would one impeach a Judge supported by Orrin Hatch?

  • WestGranger West Valley City, Utah
    Dec. 28, 2013 4:23 a.m.

    Judicial activism in judges, unfortunately, is a way of life. Although, I believe it was a decision based on personal politics, he nevertheless did make his decision. Unfortunately, this country currently is greatly divided and in a culture war. The judicial process needs to play itself out.Funny how intensely partisans either love or hate the court depending on whether or not they ruling is to their personal liking.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 6:35 p.m.

    Mona: Impeachment gave the career and reputation of Bill Clinton a second life. People felt him so put upon by detractors, that he is now the best loved living ex President. Maybe it would even make him the next Supreme Court nominee of President Obama?

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    Dec. 27, 2013 4:34 p.m.

    Threatening judges with impeachment unless they rule "our" way is a dangerous practice.

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 1:46 p.m.

    You should be thanking the judge for delivering a dose of reality into your sheltered, unrealistic life.

  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 1:43 p.m.

    Re: There You Go Again

    Conservative activist judges are ok.

    Other activist judges are not ok.

    "An activist judge is one that makes a decision you don't like."-Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. I couldn't agree more.

    "It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is."-Chief Justice John Marshall, 1803.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 12:49 p.m.

    "Activist judge?"

    You mean like those judges on the Supreme Court who declared that corporations are people?

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 27, 2013 12:33 p.m.

    @ Sal - No, the Judge could not have allowed civil unions as that truly would have been legislating from the bench because he would have been creating a law that did not exist prior to his ruling. Additionally, Amendment 3 prohibits civil unions. The way Utah write the law was all or nothing - and nothing is exactly what they got.

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    Dec. 27, 2013 12:07 p.m.

    Speaking frankly, if conservatives are now so desperate that they've resorted to impeachment of judges in order to stop SSM, then this war will be more easily won than I thought.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 11:39 a.m.

    Judge Shelby was not presented with civil unions as an option. The only question before him was whether Amendment 3 passed Constitutional muster. If he had said "I'm striking down Amendment 3 and replacing it with civil unions" that would be activism and legislating from the bench. Legislatures pass laws; courts interpret them and if necessary test their Constitutionality.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 10:23 a.m.

    I love the high pitched cries of 'lone, activist judge' from conservatives today…

    *'Judge's Prop. 8 ruling upheld' - By Lisa Leff - AP - Published by DSNews - 06/14/11

    '...ruling that struck down California's same-sex marriage ban…'

    *'Judge Ware Denies Motion To Vacate Decision Overturning Prop 8' - By Barry Deutsch - Family Scholars - 06/14/11

    *'Gay marriage wins rulings in pair of federal challenges' - By Denise Lavoie - AP - Published by DSNews - 07/08/10

    '...ruled in favor of gay couples' rights in two separate challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA...'

    *’Prop 8 declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL by 9th circuit court’ – by Michael De Groote – Deseret News – 02/07/12

    "Proposition 8 served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California," the Ninth Circuit said in its ruling on appeal in the case of Perry v. Brown.'

    sound familiar?

    *'Appeals court DENIES stay on same-sex marriage, ruling pending hearing Monday' - By Emilee Eagar, Deseret News – 12/22/13

    'SALT LAKE CITY — The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver on….

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 10:17 a.m.

    Where were all these repubs when "mob rule" was rejected on guns?

    It's funny how the right flip flops even within a year!

    Just a year ago we were a country ruled by law, not popular opinion.

    Now, it appears that the law doesn't matter but whatever popular opinion is.

    Which is it repubs?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 10:15 a.m.

    We don't like Bill Clinton, let's impeach him!
    We don't like Obamacare, let's shut-down the Government!
    We don't like Judge Shelby's ruling, let's impeach him!

    Something about the far-right-wing,
    WE are the true patriots, who love the Constitution, and defend it,


    we they don't have enough votes,
    things aren't going their way,
    impeach them all,
    shut-it all down,
    as we will Trample the Constitution --

    [shaking my head]
    ...it's just is not adding up!

  • Anthropogus Montgomery, AL
    Dec. 27, 2013 9:55 a.m.

    Mona - the public doesn't vote on "impeachment" of a federal judge, the U.S. House of Representatives votes and the Senate convicts. Which will not happen, nor should it. You are suggesting "mob rule", which is precisely what the Constitution prevents. You can not "impeach" a judge because you disagree with the outcome.

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 9:47 a.m.

    Does the right need more cheese with its whine today?

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Dec. 27, 2013 9:41 a.m.

    @Sal --

    "Hopefully, the Supreme Court will uphold its own ruling that states have the right to define marriage."

    States do not have an UNRESTRICTED right to define marriage. All state laws must conform to the US Constitution.

    If states could define marriage however they wished, then we would still have bans on interracial marriages. This is precisely what Loving v. Virginia was all about.

  • Sal Provo, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 9:27 a.m.

    Tolerance is not an attribute of the Left. The Judge could have ruled in favor of civil unions for gays leaving the state of Utah with its right to define traditional marriage. Hopefully, the Supreme Court will uphold its own ruling that states have the right to define marriage.

  • isrred South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 9:18 a.m.

    "He based his decision on pre-trial proceedings without allowing the democratic process to play out."
    I'm sorry, but it was the STATE OF UTAH, not the plaintiffs that asked the Judge for a summary judgment without trial. He simply followed their wishes. They just didn't like the ruling.

  • Sal Provo, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 9:05 a.m.

    Good letter, Mona. Judge Shelby ruled on the thinnest of proceedings not on the majority rulings of the Supreme Court.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Dec. 27, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    "BTW -- Impeaching someone just to send a message to other Judges is an abuse of power.
    It's called Extortion."

    Absolutely correct. In addition it's whaaaa, whaaaaa, we lost again.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Dec. 27, 2013 8:42 a.m.

    Judges are NOT supposed to edict the "will of the people".
    which is precisely why Judges are Selected for Life terms...

    So they don't have to look over their shoulders,
    make back room deals, campaign, go to fund raisers,
    hand out candy, kiss babies and
    tell people exactly what they want to hear.

    That is what ELECTED officials do.

    Judges rule by LAW, not popular opinion.

    BTW -- Impeaching someone just to send a message to other Judges is an abuse of power.
    It's called Extortion.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 8:34 a.m.

    The judge was called upon to make a summary decision, and he did. In light of the law of the land, the outcome was all but pre determined. In the end, the will of the people was strengthened, as now each of us has a choice in the matter. Individual rights are a wonderful thing. Happy new year.

  • Turtles Run Houston, TX
    Dec. 27, 2013 8:32 a.m.


    Exactly what has Judge Shelby done that warrants impeachment. The states have the right to regulate marriage but those laws must ultimately conform to the US Constitution. The Utah amendment violated the Equal Protection Clause and Judge Shelby had to strike down the law. You are the one that is advocating that Judge Shelby become an "activist" judge.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 8:08 a.m.

    Calm down, Mona.

    Equal protection and due process are part of the US Constitution. Guess what, YOU never ever had the right to vote on Amendment 3 to begin with. The rights of others are NOT yours to vote away.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 7:50 a.m.

    "...Even if Shelby were acquitted, impeachment proceedings would be a warning to other activist judges...".

    Conservative activist judges are ok.

    Other activist judges are not ok.

  • PolishBear Charleston, WV
    Dec. 27, 2013 7:44 a.m.

    It is not the courts' job to uphold the precise will of the majority of the people. That's what elections are for. The job of the courts is to uphold the Constitution, regardless of whether the necessary decisions fall in line with the will of the majority. It is up to the judges to determine, without bias from the rest of the population, what constitutes equality under the law, or equal protection. It seems more than obvious to me that to exclude Gays from the institution of marriage is a clear violation of any notion of "equality," and I have yet to see anyone dispute that on a rational level. Therefore, it is not "activism" on the part of judges to declare that Gay and Straight couples should be treated equally under the law, rather it is an example of judges performing their rightful duty.

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 7:41 a.m.

    "Activist" judge. That's funny. If the Governor didn't say that, nobody else would have.

    Your guys Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch supported Shelby's appointment to the bench.
    And I'll bet you would follow those two into battle.

    Why are you so against equal rights? Or are you only for equal rights according to your OWN narrow beliefs?

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 7:38 a.m.

    This is reality Mona. This is the real world.
    We work on a system of laws based on books of law, not other books.
    Judge Shelby is doing noble work here.
    Happy New Year.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Dec. 27, 2013 7:36 a.m.

    "He based his decision on pre-trial proceedings without allowing the democratic process to play out"

    What part of the "democratic process" are you expecting the judge to have honored? I think I must have missed part of the story. The purpose of the courts is to ensure that majorities don't deny minorities rights. It has failed horribly at times in the past of doing.... and has succeeded in other instances. But the exact goal of the courts is to prevent "democracy processes" from denying any group their rights.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 6:30 a.m.

    Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution provides that "[t]he President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.' Judge Shelby has not committed any impeachable offense. He was called upon to make a decision, and he made it. That is not a high crime or misdemeanor.

    If the State thinks Judge Shelby misapplied the law, its remedy is to appeal his decision. It has done so. Let's see how the Supreme Court rules on the stay issue and how the Tenth Circuit rules on the appeal.

    I think the Deseret News, with its overly critical pieces about Judge Shelby, bears some responsibility for this kind of letter.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 2:20 a.m.

    The Senate would never vote to convict and the House would look like a bunch of sore losers on something that the American people are increasingly in favor of. If you're angry at a lack of stay, that's been denied by judges on several levels at this point. His decision was done at the speed both sides agreed to.