Federal judge who issued Kentucky gay marriage rulings dies

30 Apr 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Federal judge who set Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage on path to Supreme Court dies.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – A federal judge whose ruling striking down Kentucky’s ban on gay marriage led to an appeal heard this week in the U.S. The full video of Thursday’s same-sex marriage debate between Judge John Heyburn II and The Family Foundation of Kentucky senior policy analyst Martin Cothran during the annual meeting of the Women Lawyers Association.”Known for his searing intellect, fiercely competitive spirit, and quick wit, John Heyburn untangled countless legal knots and delivered sweeping legal opinions on cases of incredible complexity over his more than two decades on the federal bench. McKinley, Jr. in a statement announcing Heyburn’s death. “A brilliant jurist, an accomplished leader, locally and on the national level, a mentor and a friend, whose passion, strength and courage was evident in all that he did, has, and will forever be, an inspiration to us all.

It was Heyburn who had ruled the same-sex marriage ban in Kentucky to be unconstitutional leading to this week’s stance in front of the Supreme Court. Heyburn’s passing comes a day after the high court heard arguments in cases challenging laws against same-sex marriage in Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan and Ohio.

Judge Heyburn was an incredible person, a student of the law and a judge who always made certain that the rights and interests of everyone were protected in his courtroom.” Secretary Grimes also issued a statement, saying, “I am deeply saddened to learn of Judge John Heyburn’s death. Bush appointed Heyburn to the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. “Today our commonwealth says a sad goodbye to a great Kentuckian, Judge John G. John had a gifted legal mind, but he also had the ability to see beyond the legal arguments and into the humanity of those who came before him.” “When I think of Judge Heyburn’s countless good qualities, the one that stands out is his fundamental decency. Heyburn served on the bench for over 20 years, but the case he will be the most well-known for, his legacy, ended up being one of his last in the final year of his life. While he was battling opinion, law and constitution with regards to his same-sex marriage ruling, Heyburn was also battling liver cancer — a fight that ended Wednesday evening at the age of 66. “He even mentioned that in his ruling that people would disagree with him on religious grounds but it was his job to interpret the constitution,” DeLeon said.

My thoughts and prayers are with his family.” Governor Beshear’s statement reads, “Judge Heyburn’s passing is a tremendous loss for the state and for the courts. Equal parts thoughtful and thought-provoking, Judge Heyburn possessed the unique character that makes for a good judge – a devotion to detail, an appreciation for the weight of words, a curious mind, and a gracious manner for all who entered his courtroom. He went to great lengths to understand litigants — especially criminal defendants — as individual persons, and his rulings were informed by his profound empathy.”

Elaine and I mourn the passing of our dear friend, a man whose intelligence, good humor and upstanding character I have greatly admired since our paths first crossed on the campaign trail in 1971. We send our heartfelt condolences to Martha and the rest of the Heyburn family, and to the many, many friends this good man leaves behind.” “Not only was Judge Heyburn a fine judge, he was also a visionary who regardless of politics, interpreted the law without prejudice. How long would South Carolina have waited before it did away with segregated schools?” Heyburn, whose great-grandfather built the office tower that bears the family’s name and whose father founded the law firm Brown Todd & Heyburn, often defied his patrician roots.

Handsome, ruddy-faced, gracious and friendly, Heyburn was a champion miler at Harvard and a skilled golfer, enjoyed enormous respect from lawyers and litigants. Bruce Miller, who narrowly defeated Heyburn to hang on to that office in 1981, said once that “I have had cases before 38 federal judges over the years and none of them could have held his golf bag.” Heyburn was not afraid to exercise his judicial powers but tried to do so carefully.

Scott Drabenstadt, an attorney for Tilford, said Wednesday that surveillance video seen by the grand jury showed the two women, ages19 and 20, “frolicking in the stairs and in the hallway” after the alleged incidents. Writing in an op-ed column in The Courier-Journal in 1998, he said the judiciary must be “activist enough to correct manifest injustices … yet restrained enough to allow democracy to work in the fullness of time.” In 2000, he dissolved a 25-year-old desegregation decree in Jefferson County Public Schools, ending racial quotas that had prevented some black students from attending Central High School.

The video from the apartment complex, near campus, shows the women arriving, leaving the party, returning and leaving again. “And this is after they were supposedly, one of them raped by three men and the other raped by Chris Jones. But four years later, he ruled that the district still had a compelling interest in maintaining racially integrated schools, upholding its policy of allowing no school to be more than 85% white or 50% black. “Integrated schools, better academic performance, appreciation for our diverse heritage and stronger, more competitive public schools are consistent with central values and themes of American culture,” he wrote, rejecting the claim of a parent who said her son was unconstitutionally denied a transfer to Bloom Elementary School because he was white. Army Reserve for six years, eventually earning the rank of lieutenant, and earned his law degree from the University of Kentucky before joining his father’s firm, now Frost Brown Todd, where he became a partner and an expert in construction contract law. He said he got his baptism in politics in 1971 as a scheduler and advance man in Republican Tom Emberton’s unsuccessful campaign for governor, during which Heyburn visited every Kentucky county.

After his latest comeback, the 45-year-old Republican doctor finally claimed a prize: a seat in the state Senate representing Clark, Fayette and Montgomery counties as the first Hispanic member of the Kentucky General Assembly. When Heyburn struck down Kentucky’s gay marriage ban, his mentor, McConnell was criticized by conservatives for recommending his appointment, and McConnell criticized the ruling.

Notwithstanding his affluent background — or perhaps because of it — he gave the benefit of the doubt to criminal defendants who went through hard times growing up,” said criminal defense lawyer Scott C. And Wednesday GOPAC, a national Republican recruiting organization, named him an “emerging leader” of 2015, giving him access to speech coaches, fundraisers and strategist to help mold him for a run for higher office – whatever, and whenever, that might be. The Courier-Journal (http://cjky.it/1InV12Shttp://cjky.it/1InV12S ) reports officers found the Maupin Elementary kindergartner pinned underneath a pickup truck around 8:30 a.m.

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