A Texas Threat to Judicial Independence

The forms of attack on judicial independence are often different, but they also often threaten our democracy. Fortunately, most of these ideas among legislative bodies never actually get passed. With some, an argument can be made to either just ignore it or don’t dignify it with comment. Fair Courts has such a piece:

Texas Bill Would Cut Salaries of Judges Who Enforce Same-Sex Marriage Rights

A bill introduced in Texas last week would withhold the pay of any state or local government employee giving out, recognizing, granting, or enforcing same-sex marriage licenses. The bill, filed by Rep. Cecil Bell Jr. (R-Magnolia), states that “[i]f an employee violates this subsection, the employee may not continue to receive a salary, pension, or other employee benefit at the expense of the taxpayers of this State.” This legislation is similar to a bill introduced in South Carolina last month, which prohibited payment of salaries and benefits to government employees recognizing, granting, or enforcing same-sex marriage licenses. Equality Texas legislative specialist Daniel Williams said “Texas [] may not ignore federal law whenever it wants…. Beyond it ignoring federal law, it would actually punish state employees who follow the law.”

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