A Very Bad Judicial Legacy

A Very Bad Judicial Legacy

2016 | Week of October 24 | #1174

Wisconsin federal Judge Barbara Crabb is at it again.  Late last month Judge Crabb handed down a decision and issued an order in a case involving two lesbians, a child and the State of Wisconsin. This decision continues her string of bad judgments.

Here’s a memory jog on Judge Crabb. President Jimmy Carter nominated Judge Crabb to this position in 1979. She is technically now on “senior status”—and has been since 2010. Senior status is a form of semi-retirement for US federal judges. This status allows Judge Crabb to take fewer cases but still draw a full salary.  Judge Crabb has indicated that the caseload in Wisconsin’s Western District federal court is such that she must remain actively involved.

Interestingly since 2010, Judge Crabb has managed to be the judge in some very high profile cases.  In 2010, she ruled in favor of Freedom From Religion Foundation in a case alleging the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional. This ruling was unanimously dismissed by a federal appellate court in 2011.

In 2013 Crabb ruled in another Freedom from Religion-initiated lawsuit that it is unconstitutional to exempt from taxes the housing allowance members of the clergy receive. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Judge Crabb’s ruling in 2014.  In early June, 2014 Crabb ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, overturning Wisconsin’s Marriage Protection Amendment which was passed in 2006 by just shy of 60% of the voters. Before 2010, Judge Crabb was best known as being the judge who in 2003 ordered the City of La Crosse to remove a Ten Commandments display from a city park. What a legacy this judge already has—and she’s still adding to it.

Earlier this year, two women, who were married in New York in 2012, filed a lawsuit against the State of Wisconsin demanding the birth certificate for a child born in 2015 to one of the women list both women as parents of the child. Judge Crabb agreed and issued her order instructing the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to issue birth certificates listing both people as parents of a child for same-sex couples who met the following conditions:

1) they and their legally married spouse had a baby in Wisconsin between June 6, 2014 and May 2, 2016 and completed a birth certificate worksheet before May 2, 2016; 2) the women were married at the time of the birth; 3) the baby was gestationally carried by one of the spouses and was conceived using artificial insemination; and 4) they did not comply with the requirements of Wis. Stat.§ 891.40(1), which deals with a male husband being the biological father of the child.

In the wording of the Order, Judge Crabb instructed the Department to view the governing statute in “gender-neutral terms” and to construe the word husband to mean spouse.

A couple of things here. First, while this is a fairly narrow ruling applying only to two women who are legally married and with a child born between June 6, 2014 and May 2 2016, this is still a federal judge undoing state law with another wave of a judicial magic wand. Apparently, the Department has already been making up its own rules for birth certificates since May 2 2016 and especially after the US Supreme Court determined marriage now includes people of the same sex. This I know. Our state legislature has not taken any action on this—and that would be the appropriate place for such decisions to be made and then carried out by the department.

Second, this judicial decision and any others that are similar are denying biological reality and perpetuating a lie—that 2 women can somehow be the biological parents of a child. It’s impossible and from the child’s perspective is not right that such a fabrication be reflected on a child’s birth certificate. This is not a parent certificate. It is a birth certificate. Judge Crabb in building her judicial legacy has further entrenched the idea that marriage has nothing to do with procreation and is truly only about adult desires. Per Judge Crabb, what’s best and right for the child is meaningless.  It’s time to truly retire, Judge Crabb.

For Wisconsin Family Council, this is Julaine Appling reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

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