Thursday, September 25, 2014

Our New Jersey Judges Have Constitutional Rights

The charges against Superior Court Judge Raymond Redden and Municipal Court Judge Gerald Keegan are unfounded and if
the Supreme Court accepts the recommendations of the Disciplinary Review Board our Judges will be forced not to attend any religious functions or meetings in which the participates share in a common table.

As it stands now many Judges throughout the state, as part of their personal religious apostolate, regularly, or occasionally, attend religious meetings in the form of spiritual retreats, religious organizations and meetings, in which other participates, may or may not be facing pending state or federal criminal charges.  Such meetings could be, but not limited to such things as attending a meeting at the Knights of Columbus, religious retreat house, Seder meals at the Synagogue or Temple, or at the Muslim Mosque during the last day feast for Ramadan. 

What is very troubling about this grievance is that the Catholic Bartimeous Family group was not an eating club, but rather a Catholic religious group dedicated to the apostolate to healing, prayer and faith, which concluded after the meal with a Catholic Mass.

Is the Disciplinary Review Board arguing that our judges are no longer permitted to attend religious functions or meetings in which food is served at a common table?  Is the Disciplinary Review Board now arguing that unless a criminal background check is done on all present the Judge cannot attend the religious function or meeting?  Or is the DRB arguing that before the Judge can attend such a meeting that the Judge first review the list of participates to ascertain who among the group might have a pending criminal or civil case before them, or their vicinage? 

The actions of the DRB in this case are a further example of the erosion of our religious liberties and hopefully our Supreme Court will recognize this as such.  Our Judges have the First Amendment constitutional right to religious freedom and express and they should not have to choose between their judicial office or their full practice and expression of their religious faith.

The secular pop-culture which continues to marginalize people of faith must end.

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