Thursday, February 08, 2007

Mad Dad Case Meets the Feds

With an ego the size of, say, Montana, U.S. Chief District Chief Judge Mark Lawrence Wolf has his favorite judicial meal spread before him. Every case that gets to his level is important, but he clearly relishes cases with U.S. constitutional issues worthy of him.

The issue at hand is the suit filed by four Lexington parents claiming that their children's and their own First Amendment religious rights and their right to privacy were violated. As you may recall from previous coverage of David Parker, a.k.a. the Mad Dad, the Lexington public schools showed picture books that mentioned that some families have two same-gender parents and one had a kid's story king picking another king instead of a princess.

Background: Click around from this post to catch up with the case. A Mad-Dad-offending exhibit is below. A spread from the family book in question shows two partnered dads, one preparing dinner and one setting the table while their daughter does homework. Scandal!

Wolf will rule on the defense motion to dismiss in a few weeks or perhaps months. It is probably a good sign for the plaintiffs that he did not dismiss the federal portion of the suit immediately. However, his delay may not be due to favoring their arguments. Rather, their lead attorney, Robert Sinsheimer, claims to need time to respond to the amici briefs in support of the defendants' attorney, John J. Davis. Wolf granted him a week to respond.

I was at the 90-some minute hearing and shall post a few times on it. BayWindows was there too and has the facts, Ma'am.

A future post will break down some of the legal issues and particularly Wolf's questions to the attorneys. The judge clearly knows that his ruling here is likely to be cited in other cases. He seems to love that stuff.

For him, Wolf is not as famous as he thinks, but he is associated with several high-profile cases in his 22 years in this court. For example:
During yesterday's hearing, Wolf was in fine form. He repeated dragged out and referred to three or more cases he had decided, one two decades ago. He intimidates lawyers appearing before him, and they scrambled to copy the citations, likely so that they could kiss up by referring to them in future arguments. Amusingly, the cases were only tangentially applicable to the matter at hand, but that did not stop Montana from looming over the courtroom.

After lengthy arguments from both attorneys and some insightful questions -- interspersed with overly folksy ramblings by Wolf, the judge took the case under be continued in U.S. District Court and this blog.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OMG! No wonder the Dad was Mad. Look at the promotion of bestiality going on in that storybook picture. A cat sensually rubbing up against that little girl's bare leg. And the adults in the room? No reaction whatsoever. They just act as though it were normal or something. Disgusting. Where is the outrage?!!!!