Suck-Up Time

Court on a hot tin roof

"You guys and gals in the media ought not to get too rambunctious with condemning conduct that pretty closely approaches free speech," warns the D.A.

In a phone interview, Hunter questioned whether Holmes can impartially investigate the matter, since he is a party to the sodomy law challenge.

After a long pause, Holmes replied mildly, "I don't have any quarrel with his perception. I believed that we could [be impartial,] because I've looked at it personally. And I don't feel the same way that a lot of people do about that statute. I'm in the 'I don't give a flip' mood with that statute."

Appellate justices feel the political heat from GOP officials.
Jeremy Eaton
Appellate justices feel the political heat from GOP officials.

Holmes says he never previously concerned himself with the statute, because it had never been enforced here before. "People engage in sexual activity in private, and when they don't, it's the public business," says Holmes. "You go have heterosexual sex in Kroger's, and you're going to be in trouble."

Hunter also contends that since the 14th Court justices have been pressured, the case should be transferred to another appeals circuit for an impartial, untainted hearing.

Holmes says that reasoning could also bias the judges against his side.

"That's my concern," muses the D.A. "If I were sitting on the court, I'm afraid that either consciously or subconsciously, I may be inclined to say, 'Screw you, Republican Party, I'll show you,' and just refuse to do anything with the three-judge panel's decision. I would hope the members of the appellate court are beyond that."

Nevertheless, Holmes does not favor moving the case to another appeals court. States the D.A.: "I don't have any reason to believe that the judges won't do what they think is right based on the law."

On the other hand, having been forewarned that their political futures could be in jeopardy if they defy the GOP platform, the jurists just might decide that their wisest option is to talk a straight line.

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