Thursday, May 26, 2005

Out of the Mainstream

Obsidian Wings, Outside the Beltway, and The Volokh Conspiracy point us to a recent ruling by the Marion County Superior Court:
An Indianapolis father is appealing a Marion County judge's unusual order that prohibits him and his ex-wife from exposing their child to "non-mainstream religious beliefs and rituals."

The parents practice Wicca, a contemporary pagan religion that emphasizes a balance in nature and reverence for the earth.

Cale J. Bradford, chief judge of the Marion Superior Court, kept the unusual provision in the couple's divorce decree last year over their fierce objections, court records show. The order does not define a mainstream religion.

All three bloggers blast the ruling, correctly. But is there any principled way to differentiate this outragous ruling, and a, in my mind anyway, eerily similar one handed down a short while ago by 4th Circuit judge (and potential Supreme Court nominee) J. Harvie Wilkinson III? I don't think there is. And if this ruling is, as Outside the Beltway puts it, "just some nutty judge making an idiotic ruling," then can we group Judge Wilkinson in the same category?

It will be interesting to see how this plays out if, indeed, Bush nominates him.

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