It is easy when things don’t go your way, and a judge decrees something that you find to be horrible, to blame the judge (they are the determiners of fact after all!) and assume that a different judge would have gotten you a different outcome. Sometimes, this is the case. Judges do have wide discretion in determining who they believe and what weight to give various facts. However, in many situations, the conclusion is all but written in stone based on the law, and the judge is merely the person who is relaying that information to you. This is especially true in situations where a conclusion is reached that feels ethically unacceptable, as it is easy to say things like, “The judge should have seen that this situation is different and they shouldn’t have allowed this to happen.”
Recently, a Collin County judge ordered a lesbian woman to move out of a home she had been sharing with her partner for three years as a result of her partner’s pending divorce with her ex-husband. The law in question in this situation is a morality clause that attached to both Mr. and Mrs. Compton that barred other people not related by blood or marriage from being in the home at night. This obviously has more of an effect of Mrs. Compton, a lesbian, as she legally cannot get married in Texas and thus her partner is not allowed to live in the home. Ms. Price proceeded to make claims that the judge said certain anti-gay things that were denied by the judge, and all of a sudden social media was up in arms against the judge.
The reality in this situation is that the current law is biased in favor of the heterosexual couple, who can legally get married, as opposed to a homosexual couple, who cannot. The outcry really should be towards the legislators to make the necessary modifications to the law to prevent such situations from occurring. Unfortunately, it tends to be easier to gather pitchforks for one individual as opposed to the entire legislature, not the mention that most people don’t even know who their representative is.
There are numerous different clarifications or modifications that could be made here to the law, but the bottom line is that the law is what it is, and judges are sworn to uphold it regardless of their personal viewpoints on it. Personally, I would find it to be a much bigger issue if a sitting judge decided to ignore the law based on their own personal morality REGARDLESS of my own personal viewpoint on the matter. That road leads to chaos.
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