Fort Worth Judge Signs ECUSA Orders


January 23rd, 2011 Posted in TEC |

By A S Haley

There is not much to say about the recent news from Fort Worth, except that there will certainly be an appeal. (Note to partisans: had the decision gone in Bishop Iker’s favor, I still would have had to report the same conclusion.)

The judge did not issue a decision of his own, but simply signed the pro forma orders submitted by ECUSA and the local Gulick parties. He made a few deletions in the former, to make it clear that he was deciding the case by deference to the “hierarchy” of the Episcopal Church (USA), and not on neutral principles of law. Indeed, he staked his all on a bet that the Texas higher courts would not follow the latter approach, since he struck out the proposed paragraph that would have said he would reach the same result under “neutral principles” analysis. Thus if the Court of Appeal rules that he should have applied neutral principles, he will have to start all over again.
Also, no findings of fact, or sanctions issued, for the unprofessional conduct with which Bishop Iker charged his former counsel. So that will be more grist for the appeal.

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