10/06/2034 11:31 PM ET

OPINION

Do Not Honor Noah Farber

Brett Hillier
Center for New Progress

Public domain Keller Hall, University of North Alabama. Taken by me at University of North Alabama Campus, May, 2007 by Burkeanwhig | Writer image: CC BY 4.0 Medal of Honor - Staff. Sgt. Salvatore Giunta - United States Army - 101116 by U.S. Army | Images were cropped. Images used for illustration purposes only.
Broughton University, misguided in its intent to honor one of its own.
Noah Farber was just honored by his Alma Mater, Broughton University, which just named its school of law after him.

They should be ashamed.

Farber may have been the obvious choice, but he is nowhere near suitable for such recognition.

The retired, former Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is well-known for his anti-poly, anti-choice and anti-assisted-ending positions. He can't keep his mouth shut even on cases he isn't hearing.

His latest efforts to shut down the loving families debate on Simon Redford last week was borderline treasonous.

Asked by Redford what his position on loving families was, he responded:

"I'm generally not in favor of the idea of incestuous relationships. There is a natural order which we see in the world, which has normally obvious permissions and restrictions. The law sometimes upholds these and in the latter case I think that should be so."

Let's break that down shall we? Firstly, calling families who love each other "incestuous" is offensive. It may have been a la mode in the 2000s but it carries the stigma of generations of backward-thinking, judgmental (ha) morons, who had no idea of the tremendous social and personal impact they were having in regulating other people's values.

Secondly, the idea of a "natural order" is ridiculous. It's a clear callback to Farber's religious roots (he is Jewish) and a dog-whistle to religious conservatives across the nation. There is no natural order.

If there were a natural order, one which forbade loving contact between members of the same family, then why is it practised by spotted salamanders, Japanese quail, ambrosia beetles, crazy ants, mongooses, and other species?

The answer is that it doesn't exist.

Farber's comments on polyamorous relationships are equally revealing. He once said polyamory was "an unlikely partner with a stable society", or "not usually compatible with the raising of well-adjusted children".

He called Roe v. Wade "not the best example of judicial restraint", and suggested women who seek abortions should see a counselor first.

Two years before Congress passed the Self-Preservation Denial Act in 2030 he heard arguments in Bushel v. Kovačić, in which he effectively chastised Chase Bushel for wilfully ignoring the effect his ending would have on his family, ignoring the plaintiff's pain and suffering.

His legacy is a litany of bigoted, hurtful remarks, targeting minorities in our society, and subjecting them to the worst form of anachronistic moralism. He should be ashamed.

That Broughton seeks to honor him is equally shameful.

He should be shunned, not just by late night talk show hosts, but on the lecture circuit. Colleges and other institutions should refuse to let him on their campuses. Bookstores should refuse to publish his work. He should be exiled from civilized society, since he has shown an unwillingness to participate in it.

Should there be physical retaliation for the emotional violence he has caused, it would be entirely his own fault.

He and his fellow serving jurists need to understand the world they are living in - they may be unduly comprised of dusty old white men, but words and judgments have consequences, and it may be better for them or all of us, for them to experience some.

Broughton may honor him as it wishes of course, however we at CNP believe his influence has been destructive, divisive, exclusionary and bigoted. We intend to pursue revision of all his judgments whilst serving on the Ninth Circuit, and we intend to see any and all discriminatory judgments overturned, by liasing with the wronged parties.

We will be actively campaigning against Broughton for their involvement with such a person. We will be working with student organizations on campus with the purpose of effecting a change in an obvious culture of discrimination. If that culture does not change we will be actively working with our ally organizations to pursue student redirection away from enrolling at Broughton. If the college wishes to cripple their budget for a bigot, then so be it.

We will send a message to the Broughtons of the world that people like Farber cannot and will not be tolerated. They will be dealt with and shown the door from civilized society.

Noah Farber should not be honored. We intend to see that he is not, that he is made to feel the effect of his evil works.
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