Kentucky judge who refused to hear gay adoption cases fired for misconduct

Kentucky family judge W. Mitchell Nance, who refused to hear multiple adoption cases involving LGBTI parents, has been fired for misconduct.

Nance drew national attention in April when he stated that he’d no longer hear adoption cases involving gay parents because it could ‘never be in the child’s best interest.’

Back in October, Nance filed his resignation papers. His resignation was meant to go into effect this month. However, the state’s Judicial Conduct Commission has since found him guilty of misconduct.

What did the Commission say?

According to the Courier Journal, the Judicial Conduct Commission’s order found that ‘due to Respondent’s retirement, a public reprimand is warranted, and is the only public sanction available.’

The Commission, which investigates complaints of judicial misconduct and wrongdoing, charged Nance in September with multiple violations of judicial ethics rules, including ones that prohibit bias on the basis of one’s sexual orientation.

The Courier Journal explains that the public reprimand ‘cited canons requiring judges to promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary and prohibiting prejudice based upon race, sex, religion, national original [sic], disability, age, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status, among others.’

‘Judge Nance’s refusal to hear and decide adoption cases involving homosexuals is violative of said Canons,’ the order stated.

Additionally, Nance and his attorneys did not attend a hearing scheduled for 15 December, thus waiving his right to present evidence in defense of the charges he’s faced with.

Before Nance’s resignation was to become final on 16 December, Judge David Bowles, district court member of the Commission, voted that he be removed prior to this date.

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