Bardwell also offers one of the most amusing versions of "I'm not a racist but. . . ." Bardwell says that:
I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way. . . .I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else.Colored people can use his bathroom, but they are unfit to marry whites. Good one, Bardwell. And the "piles and piles" imagery is not flattering.
Bardwell's Stance Violates Constitution
In 1967 the Supreme Court decided Loving v. Virginia, which held that state prohibitions of interracial marriage violated the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause. Even at that time, only a handful of states banned interracial marriage.
The Court also rejected the specious assertion -- which Bardwell has also made -- that banning interracial marriage did not discriminate on the basis of race because neither blacks nor whites could marry outside of their race. Banning interracial marriage, however, prohibited blacks from doing things that whites could do (e.g. marry whites) and vice versa. Also, the Court held that the laws were designed to foster white racial purity -- not to promote racial equality. Someone needs to bring Bardwell up to speed -- FAST!
Better yet--the state should take steps to remove Bardwell from his position. Apparently, the ACLU is already working to get him fired. Bardwell, however, says he will resign before he changes his policy. Given his archaic views on race, Bardwell's resignation is probably the best possible outcome!
UPDATE: A new, shocking "fact" has emerged in this case. According to USA Today:
Bardwell, who has been a JP for 34 years, says the state attorney general told him years ago that he would eventually get into trouble for not performing interracial marriages. . . ."I told him if I do, I’ll resign. . . .I have rights too. I’m not obligated to do that just because I’m a justice of the peace."Apparently, a state law enfrocement official knew that a judicial officer was engaging in racial discrimination, but did nothing about it.