Blame it on the Judge
Del. Donald Dwyer Jr. made good yesterday on his threat to try and impeach the Baltimore circuit judge who ruled recently that the state could not prevent gays and lesbians from marrying.
His "Address For The Removal Of Judge M. Brooke Murdock," which charges her with violating the public trust, abusing her power, incompetence, willful neglect of duty, and misbehavior in office, was met coolly in the House chamber.
About 35 House members walked slowly off the floor, blocking camera shots that would have captured Dwyer introducing the resolution.
Del. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery) said the legislative walk-off was "very much an impromptu thing. We all said, 'Look what he's doing. We don't want to be a party to this.'"
In January, Murdock cast open the debate over same-sex marriage by ruling in favor of 19 gay plaintiffs, who argued that the 33-year-old law was discriminatory and could not withstand a constitutional challenge.
With the decision stayed pending appeal, Dwyer launched an as-yet unsuccessful push for the General Assembly to vote to amend the constitution, which would force the issue onto the November ballot. That effort won wide backing from Republicans, but his attempt to unseat Murdock has not.
It met with angry reactions from court officials, and from legal groups, including the ACLU, which handled the marriage case for 19 gay and lesbian plaintiffs.
"This goes too far," said ACLU staff attorney David Rocah. "It is a dangerous, reckless, irresponsible, and patently frivolous endeavor, which clearly demonstrates an utter contempt for the rule of law."
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