Loading
Judge recuses herself from trial of Notre Dame pro-life protesters
Judge Jenny Pitts Manier
Judge Jenny Pitts Manier

.- The trial judge assigned to the legal case involving 88 pro-life activists arrested for demonstrating at the University of Notre Dame recused herself from the case last week. The activists had demonstrated against the university’s decision to host President Barack Obama as a commencement speaker and award him an honorary degree.

Defense attorneys had appealed Judge Jenny Pitts Manier’s ruling denying their request that she recuse herself. In Indiana the standard for recusal states that the judge must be shown to have actual bias or the perception of bias. The defense argued that Judge Manier should recuse herself based on her prior rulings in abortion protest litigation, her husband’s criticism of Catholic pro-life teachings as a tenured philosophy professor at Notre Dame and other factors.

The case will be sent back to the chief judge of the St. Joseph County civil court for the assignment of a new trial judge, a press release from the Chicago-based Thomas More Society reports.

In December 2009, attorneys Tom Dixon and Dave Wemhoff had argued for the recusal and also argued that the trespass charges against the defendants should be dismissed.

The motion to dismiss all the cases was to be heard on a “global” basis, with all 88 cases consolidated for that purpose.

The defense lawyers charge that Notre Dame campus police exercised state arrest powers in a manner that was “viewpoint discriminatory.” They allegedly arrested pro-lifers at a series of demonstrations on campus while tolerating similar demonstrations from supporters of President Barack Obama.

Those arrested include Norma McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” from the Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, and Alan Keyes, a former Republican presidential candidate who ran for the Illinois U.S. Senate seat against Barack Obama.

Judge Manier’s decision to recuse herself was issued on Jan. 6, the Feast of Epiphany.

Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society, said her recusal was an “unexpected gift” for Epiphany.

“It is essential that these important cases be decided by an impartial tribunal. We look forward to securing a favorable ruling on the pending motion for dismissal,” Brejcha commented in a press release.

The Thomas More Society and others have called on the university to intercede with the county prosecutor to obtain an early dismissal of the charges.

Many of the defendants as well as Fr. John Jenkins, president of Notre Dame, plan to attend the March for Life in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 22.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?
Jul
24

Liturgical Calendar

July 24, 2014

Thursday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:10-17

Gospel
Date
07/24/14
07/23/14
07/20/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 2: 1-3, 7-8, 12-13
Gospel:: Mt 13: 10-17

Saint of the Day

St. Charbel Makhlouf »

Saint
Date
07/23/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:10-17

Homily
Date
07/24/14
07/23/14
07/21/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: