a WY Supreme Court Decision

You may have heard that, yesterday, the Wyoming Supreme Court reached a decision on Judge Ruth Neely’s case.

Here’s a link to the court document: http://www.courts.state.wy.us/Documents/Opinions/2017WY25.pdf

The court has ruled (3-2) against recommendations made by the Commission on Judicial Conduct and Ethics that Judge Neely be removed as a circuit court judge and magistrate and fined. The court has instead publicly censured her and instructed her that she must decide whether she will participate in marriages in the future. If she chooses to continue, she must also participate in same-sex weddings.

The dissenting opinion (beginning on page 33) given by Justice Kautz and joined by Justice Davis states the following:

This case is of the utmost importance to the State of Wyoming. It is a case confronting new and challenging issues, where the parts of the legal landscape recently changed dramatically and rapidly. Contrary to the position asserted by the majority opinion, this case is about religious beliefs and same sex marriage. The issues considered here determine whether there is a religious test for who may serve as a judge in Wyoming.

We are relieved that Judge Neely was not removed from either position. However, this is a matter of grave concern, one that we will continue to be engaged with. As always, if you have questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to call me.


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