The little Thing: A judge orders a man to get married; does the woman have a say?
Now for a segment of our occasional feature we call "The little Thing." This is where some aspect of a news story which has not gotten much notice or not spurred much comment is the thing about it which really get me. That is, the little thing.
You may have heard about this case, it generated a certain amount of buzz.
An East Texas judge named Randall Rogers heard a young guy named Josten Bundy admit to assaulting the ex-boyfriend of his significant other, Elizabeth Jaynes, after the ex-boyfriend said "disrespectful things" about Jaynes.
Rogers sentenced Bundy to fifteen days in prison unless he accepted probation with some very strange conditions. Bundy was prepared to accept the 15 days until the judge told him he wouldn't have to chance to call his workplace to tell them what was going on. "That's not how this works," said Judge Rogers.
Fearing that meant he would be bundled off without any chance to tell anyone what was going on and it would mean the loss of his job, Bundy agreed to the probation. And this is where it gets weird. The conditions included getting counseling, writing Bible verses, and marrying Jaynes within 30 days. This was after having asked Bundy if Jaynes was "worth it."
A number of people have commented on how these conditions were so far beyond the judge's lawful authority as to boggle the imagination. Jaynes's father said that when he tried to get legal advice for the couple, lawyers laughed at him, refusing to believe the case was real. There have been calls for Judge Rogers to be kicked off the bench and even disbarred.
And all that is true and good.
But here's the thing, the little thing that you only find mentioned if you dig deep into comments on the story: Judge Randall Rogers required that Joston Bundy marry Eizabeth Jaynes within 30 days.
Okay. Doesn't Elizabeth Jaynes have any say in this getting married business? Doesn't she have any say in when or even if she gets married and to who? Apparently not, in the mind of Judge Rogers. She is just a commodity for exchange.
So not only is Judge Randall Rogers a constitutional ignoramus with a grossly-inflated sense of his own power and importance and, it seems, a Bible-thumping fundamentalist, he's also a raging sexist who would have to jump forward a few centuries to make it just to the 20th.
Disbarment is too good for him.
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