Pinellas-Pasco circuit judge candidate Don McBath wants the electorate to realize that he’s fair and even-handed. He’d also like the electorate to know that he can “never trust a Muslim” and that homosexuals will burn in hell. It’s going to be difficult to square that cube, but let’s see him give it the old college try!
“There’s so many things that I’m proud of in regards to things that I’ve done in regards to my legal experience, in my military experience, education, the awards, the social and professional activities that I participate in,” he said. “Those far outnumber anything that somebody could construe as negative.”
Well, that’s certainly a first step. Oh wait, this article has a little bit more…
In a followup text message to the Tampa Bay Times, McBath emphasized that he did not want his beliefs to be misconstrued:
“Let me make it more clear. Jesus condemned sodomy!!!!”
That doesn’t so much “follow up” the earlier message as much as “radically undermine it,” but at least this guy is committed to transparency. He’s also, of course, wrong. It’s technically accurate to say “the New Testament condemned sodomy” to the extent there are references in some of Paul’s letters, but trying to tag Jesus with this requires a pretty bold reading. Which is, in itself, a relevant fact for the voters because it seems to me that this guy can read a whole hell of a lot into statutory text if he’s getting this stuff out of the Gospels.
“If the homosexual continues committing that sin of sodomy, his soul faces ETERNAL damnation,” wrote the 61-year-old attorney and grandfather. “Abstain, if you really have that mental illness. It’s not love.”
McBath is a family law attorney. I’ve got the feeling he doesn’t facilitate a lot of adoptions for gay couples. There’s a lot of homophobia out there still — preaching from the law school pulpit, even — but for a judicial candidate to double down on this is astounding. If he’s ever called upon to address a legal dispute over same-sex marriage, will he throw some “principled” protest instead of doing his job? I wonder if that would get Fox to lay off Colin Kaepernick? Probably not.
Earning the vaunted fourth exclamation point. Still, of everything in his social media bigotry showcase, his since deleted “never trust a Muslim” is even more damning for a guy claiming he can dutifully and fairly evaluate disputes without religious bias. As Stetson professor Louis Virelli III told the Tampa Bay Times, that’s the sort of thing that will all but guarantee a courtroom bogged down in a plethora of recusal motions.
If the conservative voters of Tampa can’t get behind kicking this guy to the curb on moral grounds, at least consider the fiscal responsibility angle and choose a judge who won’t make more work for the courts because he can’t credibly perform his basic responsibilities.
Where did a guy like this go to law school?
There are days when you have to feel legitimately sorry for the Cooley Law public relations team. I mean how many fires can one person be asked to put out in a day?
But here’s McBath, still running in this election and still probably winning because Tampa is a barren hellscape of low-rent strip clubs and despair. Someone with this paper trail should struggle to be elected dog catcher let alone a state judge.
For all these reasons, rest assured that this guy will be on the Eleventh Circuit in no time.