Divorce Court Judge ignores that the First Amendment Prohibits Compelled Marriage
The First Amendment guarantees everyone the individual right to make personal choices regarding marriage. Why? Because marriage is an intimate and expressive association and as such is protected by the First Amendment.
What’s more, the First Amendment’s protection of associations holds that family associations are to receive the highest degree of constitutional protection.
As recently as 2018, the Supreme Court has reiterated that the First Amendment guarantees both the right to associate, and the right not to associate.
The First Amendment, made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment, forbids abridgment of the freedom of speech. We have held time and again that freedom of speech includes both the right to speak freely and the right to refrain from speaking at all… Freedom of association . . . plainly presupposes a freedom not to associate
The right to associate freely is a First Amendment right precisely because the right to speak freely has no meaning whatsoever if a person is prohibited from associating with the person they want to communicate with. Intimate associations are protected by the First Amendment precisely because the sharing of intimacy is pure expression. one cannot be intimate with another without expressing and receiving expressions of intimacy.
In the same case, the Supreme Court held that the government cannot compel association and the paying of association dues in support of ideas that person does not agree to.
The fundamental First Amendment right to disassociate and to be free from compelled speech is at the heart of the state’s authority to regulate divorce and child custody. Where the government cannot limit your right to disassociate and cannot compel you to speak against your will, then how can it possibly justify denying any married couple the right to divorce?
The divorce court judge in this case is absolutely drunk on unlawful government power where she compelled marriage by compelling two people to associate in a marital relationship and compelled speech by compelling these two people to speak to each other about reconciling their marriage against their will.
The simple fact is that the First Amendment makes the granting of a divorce a non-discretionary and purely administrative duty of the court. The First Amendment does not permit a judge to compel marriage or compel anyone to remain married against their will, any state statute to the contrary notwithstanding.
The judge blames the state statute, while ignoring her federal non-discretionary duty to protect the rights of litigants before her. This is how she justified in her order her failure to protect the federal rights of the litigants before her:
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED pursuant to KRS 403.170 that this matter be and is continued to Monday, October 18, 2021 at 10:30 AM for a Case Management Conference. In the interim, the Court suggests to the parties that they seek counseling to determine if the issues that motivated the filing of the Petition for Dissolution may be resolved without ending the marriage. The Court orders that the parties shall each file into the record of this action, no later than October 14, 2021, an affidavit which states whether or not the party cooperated to seek counseling, participated openly and honestly in counseling to determine whether reconciliation of the marriage is achievable, and whether the party is willing to continue in counseling. Given the time frame and the dearth of counseling resources the Court suggests the parties explore on-line resources in addition to traditional counseling resources.
The Supreme Court has consistently held that prior restraints on speech based on the content of that speech are almost always impermissible and has even upheld this standard against national security interests, yet divorce court judges routinely disrespect the Supreme Court of the United States and disobey their overwhelming and controlling precedent where divorce court judges dictate to fit parents what those fit parents can and cannot say to their child.
There is zero legal justification for the gag order this judge issued and this gag order cannot possibly survive First Amendment review. Yet divorce court judges disrespect our constitution every day because parents permit them to do so. Fight back already!
This is a classic example of an illegal gag order issued by this divorce court judge:
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that neither party shall introduce the child to any dating interest until this action is finalized or speak to the child about such person or relationship or permit any third party to do so. If the child has already been introduced to such person(s), going forward from the date of this order until the matter is finally resolved any contact between the child and such person(s) shall cease. The Court notes that these parties give the impression that each is devoted to working through their personal conflict in ways that reduce the negative effects of the situation on the child. The Court respects the effort the parties have demonstrated in that regard and encourages the parties to continue
to do so.
I am saying here and now that this divorce court judge is blatantly and intentionally violating her oath to the United States Constitution and demonstrating to the world that her oath has zero meaning. I challenge this judge or any other judge acting on her behalf to explain why you believe that the constitution does not apply to you.
If you permit divorce court judges to walk over your fundamental First Amendment rights, they clearly will. These judges have absolutely zero regard for their personal honor or upholding their Article VI oath to protect and be bound by the federal constitution. This judge demonstrates her contempt for the constitution in no uncertain terms.
This case came to our attention through an American Bar Association article, Couple should try counseling again before divorcing, says judge in unusual order (abajournal.com)
One would think that the learned members of the American Bar Association would notice something as blatant as an unsupported content based prior restraint on free speech that is imposed upon nothing more than this judge’s sole viewpoint regarding matters of conscience in child-rearing.
I am asking the American Bar Association to remove its blinders and make a critical review of this order applying well-established rules of constitutional review. Either prove me wrong or hold these judges to account.
I am calling for the absolute immunity of divorce court judges to be revoked so that we can punish them for their unconstitutional actions and disrespect for our federal constitution.