On Monday, Judge Vance Day will have “his day in court” though it will most likely be more than a day.
Here’s what you should know about the Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability, which handles complaints of judicial misconduct in Oregon and is hearing Day’s case.
- The commission was created by statute in 1969 and comprises nine volunteer members and a part-time director. Three are appointed by the state bar, three are appointed by the Oregon Supreme Court chief justice and three are elected judges appointed by the governor.
- Justices of the peace, circuit court judges and appellate court judges can be investigated by the commission. Municipal court judges, administrative law judges and arbitrators are exempt.
- The commission conducts fact-finding investigations and proceedings. It operates under the standard of clear and convincing evidence, meaning “the truth of the matter asserted is highly probable” — not the beyond a reasonable doubt standard. Day’s hearings are expected to last two weeks.
- If a judge is found to have committed an ethics violation, the commission can recommend sanctions to the Oregon Supreme Court, which will then hold oral arguments. If the Oregon Supreme Court implements a sanction, the judge can appeal it.
- The Oregon Supreme Court follows the commission’s censure recommendations nearly 100 percent of the time.
- The last judge removed from office was Kim L. Jordan in 1981. Of the 21 times the commission has sanctioned a judge, only two judges have been removed — though judges occasionally resign before their misconduct hearings begin. Day’s case is the first to go to trial since 2013. (Thank you to the Statesman Journal for the above information, specifically Gordan Friedman)
I hope that we can all support this great man in standing for his religious freedom and thus OUR freedom.
Then on Monday night, join Judge Day and many others at Salem Evangelical Church for a evening with one of Judge Day’s defenders, David Nammo of the Christian Legal Society. It will be a great evening. Learn more about the event here: http://www.salemec.com/special-events/