Oregon Judge, A Man of "Immense Faith," Fights to Keep His Seat After Defending Traditional Marriage: Trusts in the Lord for Vindication
Mark Martin : Apr 6, 2017
Please remember to pray for Judge Vance Day in June when he makes his case against ethics violation charges before the Oregon Supreme Court.
(Salem, OR)—[CBN News] Oregon circuit court judge Vance Day could be forced off the bench, and the conservative Christian and Republican told CBN News he's the victim of liberal politics in a deep blue state. (Screengrab via CBN News)
"Because I stood quietly for natural marriage at a point where the state was quickly turning toward gay marriage, I was targeted, I believe to send a message to other judges who had the same perspective I do, and that is if you air or you state your perspective in any way shape or form to the public about your beliefs, then you have no place on the bench," Day said.
The state's Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability said Day violated his oath of office by committing eight ethics violations, and it unanimously recommended his removal.
The commission accused Day of telling his staff to make sure no same-sex couples were brought before him for marriage ceremonies, creating improper relationships with defendants and allowing a convicted felon to handle a gun, among other charges.
Day told CBN News all the allegations are false.
"We proved they were false," he said. "The allegations that the commission threw at me as one person has said, 'It was like throwing the kitchen sink at somebody.'"
"I believe their main point was, 'We don't think that you're a proper person. You don't fit our model as a judge,'" Day continued. "They never quite articulated why; they just came up with a variety of allegations."
Victim of a Political 'Perfect Storm'
Day believes his case was the result of what he calls a perfect storm.
"But it just happened to happen or occur at a time where politics was coming to an apex, and anybody who said anything about natural marriage who held an elected position would suffer I think some persecution," he said.
"My opinion, based upon what I've seen in the last two years, is that I think same-sex marriage and that issue has complicated what should have been a very simple, straightforward ethics case," Day continued.
"I don't think they expected me to fight," he said. "They came to me and my attorneys and said, 'If you just resign, this will all go away.'"
"I can't resign; I didn't do anything wrong," the circuit court judge told CBN News. "I simply as a person of faith chose to recuse myself from a non-judicial act and stay in conformity with my principles."
"'They can get married by somebody else; just please don't ask me to do it.' That's all I said," he added.
Day says Oregon does not require its judges to preside over weddings.
From Ethics Charges to Criminal Indictment
He appealed the commission's decision, and his case is now before the state Supreme Court. However, his legal troubles don't stop there. He also faces a criminal indictment.
The charges stem from Day's time as the judge presiding over the Marion County Veterans Treatment Court and his interactions with a Navy SEAL who was a convicted felon and defendant in the court. Day is accused of allowing the SEAL to possess and control guns on two separate occasions.
Like the alleged ethics violations, Day says the criminal charges are politically motivated. (Screengrab via CBN News)
"I've testified in the past about what did happen," he said. "I didn't aid and abet a felon in the possession of a firearm ever. I never would do that, and I never did."
Former Gov. Bob McDonnell Weighs in on Day's Case
Former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell told CBN News he believes Day will be found innocent. McDonnell is a friend of Day's, and the two were classmates at Regent University.
McDonnell is also no stranger to the courts. He faced two years in prison after being convicted of political corruption, but the United States Supreme Court voted unanimously to overturn his conviction.
McDonnell told CBN News that Day's case reminds him of what he went through.
"I believed from the very beginning of this ... I mean I was shocked to the core of my being when I found out that I was being investigated by law enforcement authorities," McDonnell shared. "I've been doing this for 38 years in public service and always tried to do what I thought was right."
"And so Judge Day and I have talked a lot over the last three or four, five months as he's walked his walk," the former governor continued. "And I've tried to encourage him."
"He's a man of immense faith; I see him keeping his head up," McDonnell said. "I see him relying, sold out, totally trusting in the Lord for vindication."
Day: 'I Will Be Acquitted'
Day believes he will be acquitted.
"I will fight for that acquittal in the criminal case," he said. "I deserve a jury trial; I want that jury trial because I can prove things in that jury trial that the commission did not allow us to prove—stopped us in my opinion from presenting evidence."
Day has a hearing on motions to dismiss the criminal indictment later this month. And in June, he makes his case on the ethics violations before the Oregon Supreme Court.