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Posted: April 13, 2004
1:20 AM Eastern
by NWV Staff Writer
� 2004

Elsey McLeod and Dr. Cheryl Clark were in a lesbian relationship for twelve years before it ended. During their relationship, the two women adopted a a female child from China. This child knows her "parents" as Mommy (McLeod) and "Mama" (Clark).

Under Colorado law, same sex adoption is prohibited by law and it was agreed that Dr. Clark would be the adoptive parent. Dr. Clark maintains she had been a lesbian most of her life. Six months to one year before the break up of the relationship, Clark became a Christian.

By February 2001, the relationship was over and a motion to establish a parenting time schedule was filed by McLeod; Clark filed a verified motion for temporary orders in March 2001. In April 2003, Judge John Coughlin heard permanent orders and awarded joint custody with McLeod even though there is no legal relationship to the adopted child and directed that Clark "cannot raise her child with any religious teaching or upbringing that is "homophobic." Dr. Clark appealed this permanent order to the Colorado Court of Appeals.

According to Christian believes, the Holy Bible is the word of God. Many references in the Bible cite sodomy as an "abomination" and forbids sexual relations between same sex humans. Coughlin's ruling prohibits Clark from teaching her child that homosexuality is a sin and has far reaching implications as to how parents are allowed to raise their own children and freedom of religious exercise.

According to Chuck Gosnell, president of Christian Coalition of Colorado, "Clearly the ruling shows blatant disregard for the state and federal constitutions. The attack on religious liberty and parental rights is obvious."

Rep. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, and Christian Coalition of Colorado have taken steps to stop what they call "judicial activism." Brophy has introduced a resolution which would begin the impeachment process against Denver District Judge John Coughlin. Even though a resolution is usually a non-binding move, under Colorado's State Constitution, this resolution requires the House of Representatives of the Colorado State Legislature to begin impeachment proceedings.

Governor Bill Owens, a Republican, immediately issued a statement opposing Brophy's action. "I strongly urge Rep. Brophy to immediately withdraw this complaint," the governor said. This sentiment was echoed by fellow Republican, John Andrews who said, "This is the wrong way to go, and I hope it does not reach the Senate. Impeachment is a last resort for cases of gross wrongdoing or clear unfitness of character." Instead, Andrews asked everyone to support his new constitutional measure to change the judicial system which includes a provision to recall judges.

The Christian Coalition of Colorado is encouraging those who support this effort to contact members of the Colorado State Legislature's Judiciary Committee.

The Second Amendment Foundation is calling for the impeachment of Judge Jack Weinstein for refusing to recuse himself from a gun case and for what the Second Amendment Foundation calls "bias against firearms manufacturers." Federal judges are appointed for life and can only be removed from bench through the impeachment process. According to the Legal Information Institute:

Constitutional Authority

At the time of the drafting of the Constitution, impeachment was an established process in English law and government. The Founding Fathers incorporated the process, with modifications, into the fabric of United States government. The Constitution, however, only provides the framework-the basic who's, why's, and how's. The remaining procedural intricacies reside in the internal rules of the House and Senate.

Who is subject to impeachment under the U.S. Constitution? Art. 2, Section 4: "The President, Vice-President, and all civil officers of the United States. . .." This includes Federal judges. It does not, however, include House Representatives or Senators.

Alabama, battleground of the Ten Commandments issue, continues to see their citizens upset with members of the judiciary. Last August 18, 2003, logging contractor Phillip Dean discovered the signs he put up in his own front yard which read: 'Our court system is a joke' had been stolen. The signs were in response to a bitter divorce and custody court battle Dean had gone through. He reported the theft to the Skyline PD and much to his surprise, Dean was told by the Chief of Police that Jackson County sheriff's officers had removed his signs and taken them to the court house.

In response to Dean's First Amendment exercise of free speech, Judge Wallace Haralson swiftly wrote up an Order of Contempt, which read in part: �. . . the Court finding that the signs are of such a disparaging nature as to constitute direct contempt of court, it is ORDERED that the Sheriff of Jackson County arrest the defendant.� Judge Haralson also added, �Following his arrest, the defendant shall not be entitled to bond.� Dean was arrested the next day.

According to Dean, his treatment for this "egregious affront to the court" was that before he was allowed to appear in front of Judge Haralson, "They put leg shackles, they put handcuffs, they put chains from my legs up to my waist. They put a chain around my waist. They put chains from my waist up here and had my hands pulled up like this."

Dean and many other citizens complained to the state body for judiciary inquiry and on March 17, 2004, Haralson received a letter from the state Judicial Inquiry Commission asking him "to be more judicious in the future toward arresting powers." There was no mention that armed law enforcement trespassed on Dean's property without a warrant or any due process when they confiscated his signs. The citizens vow to fight what they term "judicial tyranny."

� 2004 - - All Rights Reserved

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