"Out of an abundance of caution," retired U.S. District Judge David Folsom says, he didn't perform the wedding ceremony for his wife's goddaughter earlier this spring. Until March, Folsom presided in the Eastern District of Texas, Texarkana Division. The nuptials were planned for after he left the bench.
Folsom’s decision to have a minister help with those vows rather than doing it himself turned out to be the legal one in Texas. On June 4, the Texas Office of the Attorney General ruled that Family Code §2.202(a)(4) does not authorize a retired federal judge to conduct a marriage ceremony in Texas.
Last year, Folsom asked Bowie County Criminal District Attorney Jerry D. Rochelle to seek an opinion on the matter from the Texas Office of the Attorney General. Rochelle sent a request for an opinion to the OAG on Dec. 28, 2011.
Now Folsom has his answer. It’s one, he says, that he suspected he might get. "When I read the statutory provision, I thought there was some question about it," Folsom says.
-- Miriam Rozen