Who should recuse on Prop 8?
Riffing on something someone said a while back (in a comment on, I think, a Joe.My.God entry), here are some thoughts on what the Justices should do wrt recusal if/when the Prop 8 case reaches the Supreme Court:
Of the nine current Supreme Court Justices, two (Roberts and Sotomayor) have been married but have not procreated. (According to their respective Wikipedia articles.) Also, one (Thomas) has not procreated with his current spouse. Those three should recuse themselves from the Prop 8 case, because the question of whether procreation is the main point of marriage is (according to the Prop 8 proponents) one of the key issues of the case. They would presumably be personally hurt by a ruling that said that procreation is essential to marriage.
Another, Kagan, has apparently never been married. She should recuse herself because she has no way of understanding what true marriage is really like. Also, Kagan once played softball, so she's probably lesbian herself, and thus obviously biased.
Meanwhile, the other five Justices are all married (each to one person of the opposite sex), and each has procreated with their current spouse. So they're likely to be biased against the “marriage is not about procreation” side, so they should recuse themselves as well.
[Added a couple days later: I just found out that Ginsburg's husband died in 2010. In light of that, I apologize for the flippancy of the above, and for not doing my research about whether various Supreme spouses are still living.]
Also, six of the current Justices are Catholic, and Catholicism teaches that marriage is between one man and one woman, so their faith will get in the way of their making a fair decision on the merits of the case, so all six of those Justices should recuse themselves.
Also, it seems likely that all nine of the current Justices have some sort of sexual orientation, even though we don't know what those orientations are. A gay or lesbian Justice is probably biased in favor of same-sex marriage; a straight Justice is probably biased against it; a bi Justice is probably annoyed that everybody who talks about this stuff forgets bisexuals exist; an asexual Justice probably doesn't get what all the fuss is about; and any Justice with a more complicated orientation is likely so deeply closeted that they'll vote against same-sex marriage to avoid the spotlight.
Come to think of it, that last paragraph applies to all judges, not just the ones on the Supreme Court.
So, really, I think it would be best if all judges from now on were to recuse themselves from this case.
(Note: Just in case it's not abundantly clear, this entry is intended as satire, mocking the notion that Judge Walker should have recused himself because he's gay. And yes, I know that most of the abovementioned grounds for recusal have little to do with the actual recusal rules in the US.)
(Wrote most of this in August of 2010, but neglected to post it ’til now. On re-reading, the paragraph about Catholicism now sounds to me like something Vizzini would say; I was tempted to add a line saying “So I clearly cannot choose the Justice in front of me.”)
(I'm also tempted to title this entry “J'recuse!”)