David Bunning: An Example that All Judges Should Follow

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County Clerk Kim Davis responding to media outlets before the ruling.

As the first same sex couples received their licenses to marry in Rowan County, Kentucky, praise and admiration should be given to Judge David L. Bunning of the U.S District Court. He ruled that County Clerk Kim Davis was in contempt of court and violating her oath of office. Judge Bunning is a Republican who was appointed by President George W. Bush.

What some people do not know is that Judge Bunning is a man of faith as a devout Roman Catholic and does not personally support same sex marriage. However, he was able to separate his religious views from his role as a judge who issues decisions based on law and based on the U.S. constitution and statutes. In his ruling Judge Bunning stated, “Personal opinions, including my own, are not relevant to today.The idea of natural law superseding this court’s authority would be a dangerous precedent indeed.” He continued with, “Ms. Davis took an oath. Oaths mean things.”

It is interesting to note that the bible concurs with Judge Bunning’s decision, “If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.” (Numbers 30:2). Davis took an oath to support the constitution of the United States and her oath does in fact mean something. The plaintiffs in the case who actually opposed jailing for Davis suggested that she not be jailed but allow the deputy clerks to issue marriage licenses. The judge agreed and presented the compromise to her but Davis chose jail. Kim Davis was not jailed because of her religious beliefs, she was jailed for violating her oath of office.

Long before this past Thursday’s decision, David L. Bunning first drew attention as a federal judge for a ruling on gay rights. In 2003 he ordered the school system of rural Boyd County, Kentucky, to allow a student group, the Gay-Straight Alliance, to meet on school grounds. He later oversaw a legal settlement that included anti-harassment sessions for the system’s students.

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Protester’s outside of Rowan County

Since his decision on Thursday there have been calls for his impeachment and even for his excommunication from the Catholic Church. This columnist believes that Bunning should be considered for a position as a SCOTUS judge since he is a man of ethics and puts civil law over what Davis stated is the, “The authority of G-D.” Judges are not allowed to state their personal views or their ideological views even if others are able too. Judge Bunning’s mother, Mary, stated, “David is an honest person,” she said, “He doesn’t agree with the Supreme Court but has to obey the law.”

Another fact to note about Judge Bunning is that his father was Jim Bunning, the former United States Senator and a former professional baseball player who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996. Jim Bunning was a very conservative U.S. Senator opposing same sex marriage.

Judge Bunning, like our Bronx Republican leader Mike Rendino, represents what the conservatives and Republicans should be about. They believe in a judicial system which is fair and recognizes the civil rights of all while recognizing that civil law, and not religious dogma, rule.

I would love to see a justice such as Judge Bunning on the U.S. Supreme Court. He is in the image of Justice Kennedy and former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

Funny enough, Davis ran as a Democrat and was elected as a Democrat but has acted contrary to the basic tenets of the Democratic Party. Should she be a Democrat? Who am I to judge?