Judge who refused to hear adoption cases for LGBT couples refused to appear at his disciplinary hearing
A judge in southern Kentucky skipped his Friday disciplinary hearing examining allegations that he refused to hear adoption cases involving gay, lesbian or bisexual adults.
Judge W. Mitchell Nance, a family court judge for Barren and Metcalfe counties, was absent at his disciplinary hearing before the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission in Lexington, the Lexington Herald Leader reports.
The judge’s absence was “an insult to the process,” Chris Hartman, the director of the Fairness Campaign, argued.
“It shows how flippantly he feels about this,” Hartman concluded.
The discipline hearing was conducted despite the judge offering no defense. The commission deliberated in secret following the hearing, but has yet to announce a decision.
“Whether Judge Nance appears or not, we are required to conduct a hearing,” explained Steve Woltnizek, the chairman of the commission.
Judge Nance was charged with failure to uphold standards of conduct, comply with the law, and promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.
Nance has been compared to Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who openly defied a federal judge’s order to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
In October, Judge Nance announced he would be resigning from the bench.
Nance’s resignation takes effect Saturday evening.