Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
In an editorial entitled “Easy Decision,”[May 16] David Brown urges the California Supreme Court to “dispense with dillydallying,” and to make it unethical for judges to participate in the Boy Scouts, which he considers to be a group that “mutter[s] its radical-right homilies to the delight of scores of hate-mongering homophobes.” He claims it’s a question of “black and white,” “right versus wrong,” “justice and evenhandedness thwarting oppression and inequality.” He states that when judges “swear their oaths they surrender their ability to take inappropriate stands on political issues” (I didn’t know that), and that “if judges really had full rights of free association, they could join the Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Brotherhood with impunity.” Now David this is a touchy issue, but let’s try to be reasonable about this. It certainly is a question of black and white and right versus wrong, but you’ve mixed up which one is which. In fact I’ll be blunt: The arguments in your editorial are not well-taken. The people that you’re demonizing don’t deserve it. You’re talking about 6-, 7- or 8- year-old Cub Scouts who go camping in the woods, learn CPR, collect food for local food banks, and try to do a good deed every day. Does that sound like the Ku Klux Klan or the Aryan Brotherhood to you? And your comment about “radical- right homilies” and “hate mongering” — well the Cub Scouts salute the flag and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Is that what you meant by “radical-right homilies”? You say in your editorial that some local bar associations have come out in support of ending the youth organization exemption to the Code of Ethics. OK, but let me ask you this. When you think of honesty, integrity and character — now I’ll admit there are a few exceptions, but for the most part — let me start again from the beginning — when you think of honesty, integrity and character, what pops into your mind first, an Eagle Scout or a member of the executive board of one of the bar associations you mentioned? David, if you think that an organization that discriminates legally “perpetuates a vile standard of state-sanctioned hate” (to use your term), then maybe you need to broaden your horizons. There’s a lot of organizations that discriminate legally that you have said nary a peep about. What if, for example, a judge is a member of the Wellesley College alumni association? What if a judge is a member of the Catholic church or of an Orthodox Jewish congregation? What if the judge is in the military reserves? Don’t all these organizations discriminate legally? If you can be a judge and be a member of a single-sex college alumni association, or be a Catholic or an Orthodox Jew, or be in the reserves, why aren’t you fit to be a judge just because you take a den of Cub Scouts on a hike through the woods once a month? Your editorial also mentioned that we need this rule so that gays and lesbians can feel they’ll be treated fairly in court. David, do you seriously think a rule about the Boy Scouts will have anything to do with that? The way it usually works is that whether you feel you’ve had a fair hearing depends on whether you’ve won or lost. The real reason the change in the Code of Ethics is being sought is that some people are acting out of pettiness and pique. And what’s truly despicable about it is that they’re taking it out on the kids. David, let me ask you, and those who support the proposed change in the Code of Ethics, to think about something. When a 7-year-old wearing a blue uniform knocks on your door this coming winter to ask if you’d mind donating some food for one of the local food banks, maybe you can find it in your heart somewhere to give him a can of soup or a box of corn flakes. You’ll be a better person for it, and it won’t make you unethical. Allan Yannow San Francisco

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.