Citing extreme inappropriate use of office, ProgressOhio today called on Ohio House Speaker Bill Batchelder to publicly denounce and begin censure proceedings on State Representative John Becker.
Becker announced last month that he was introducing a House Concurrent Resolution to impeach federal judge Tim Black over a decision he made in the case of a gay couple who wish to be buried together in a family cemetery plot.
"As a former judge and spouse of a federal judge, Speaker Batchelder knows how extreme and inappropriate Rep. Becker's proposal is. The chilling effect it could cause on the judicial branch of government betrays the idea of seperation of powers. He should speak loudly and clearly in denouncing Rep. Becker's legislation," said Brian Rothenberg, Executive Director of ProgressOhio.
In July, John Arthur and James Obergefell married in Maryland. They then asked the court to recognize their marriage and allow for their burial in a family plot that is deeded to family members.
"It's inhuman and unconscionable of Rep. Becker to use his culture war mentality to reach out and attempt to deny the burial of a loving committed couple", said Rothenberg. "Mr. Becker in his co-sponsorship letter to legislators actually cited Judge Black's 'personal political bias' conveniently ignoring recent United State Supreme Court decisions on the matter.
"Mr. Becker should be censured for using his office to threaten to impeach a Judge over his own personal bias. Enough is enough with this wingnut mentality."
Black is a federal district judge in the Southern District of Ohio and only Congress could carryout impeachment proceedings. Rep. Becker's legislation would only serve to incite his personal animosity and bigotry and attempt to chill the judiciary.
"At what point does Speaker Batchelder break his silence on the matter and send a clear message through censure proceedings that decorum will be restored in Ohio's House?"