Loading
Judge recuses herself from trial of Notre Dame pro-life protesters
Judge Jenny Pitts Manier
Judge Jenny Pitts Manier
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- 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

Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Nov
22

Liturgical Calendar

November 22, 2014

Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 20:27-40

Gospel
Date
11/22/14
11/21/14
11/20/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Rev 11: 4-12
Gospel:: Lk 20: 27-40

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
11/22/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 19:45-48

Homily
Date
11/21/14
11/20/14
11/19/14