Judge Neely will remain on bench despite censure

Comments (3)
  1. Carl Vehse says:

    In the Wyoming Supreme Court case of Judge Ruth Neely v. Wyoming Commission on Judicial Conduct and Ethics, the majority (3-2) opinion (Justices Kate M. Fox, James Burke and William U. Hill) is on pp. 1-32.

    The dissenting opinion of Justices Keith G. Kautz and Michael K. Davis can be found on pp. 33-35. Kautz and David state in ¶78:

    “Contrary to the position asserted by the majority opinion, this case is about religious beliefs and same sex marriage. The issues considered here determine whether there is a religious test for who may serve as a judge in Wyoming. They consider whether a judge may be precluded from one of the functions of office not for her actions, but for her statements about her religious views.”

  2. michelle coyle says:

    I am very glad that I found this face book page. Reading the 58 page decision presents both sides and allows for informed insight to the changing landscape we are all living through.

  3. Carl Vehse says:

    The dissenting minority opinion of Justices Kautz and Davis noted in the listed paragraphs:

    [¶97]: Wyoming judges may or may not perform weddings without regard to the reason for their decision.

    [¶98]: Simply put, the law does not require any Wyoming judge, including part-time magistrate Neely, to perform any marriage ceremony. The applicable law only requires that state officials may not “deny marriage to same-sex couples.”

    [¶99]: The evidence does not indicate that Judge Neely ever denied a same sex couple marriage.

    [¶114]: As discussed above, no judge in Wyoming has a duty to perform any particular marriage. Because no couple seeking marriage has a right in Wyoming to insist that a particular judge perform the ceremony, it is not “unfair” or “partial” for Judge Neely to arrange for some other judge to officiate for a same sex couple… The majority position creates a requirement that does not exist in Wyoming—that judges who perform some marriages must perform all marriages.

    [¶115]: If the law, or Judge Neely’s job description, required her to perform every marriage when requested, and if a same sex couple actually demanded that she perform their marriage ceremony, and if Judge Neely then denied them a civil marriage ceremony, then she may have violated Rule 2.2. However, none of those facts exist here.