It does appear to me that Judicial Council Decision 240 rules out the kind of penalty imposed on him. Here is the paragraph that seems most relevant to me:
Thus the Trial Court had the power to impose one of three alternate penalties, each of different severity. It is a well established rule that statutes prescribing penalties are to be strictly construed. When punishment is imposed under one of the alternative procedures, that particular punishment should be applied justly without added penalty or onerous condition borrowed from the other alternatives which were not invoked.
It seems as well that the trial court should have known about Decision 240 when it devised its penalty the first time. It appears that the 30-day suspension — whatever its motivation — was an error if the court felt he deserved to be defrocked.
I’ll be curious to see if there is another line of argument that emerges in an appeal or among those who defend the original penalty.
I found this an interesting interview between former United Methodist pastor Frank Schaefer and a critic. Of course, the host big-footed the interview some, but the tone and exchange was much better than most of our conversations. It is about 45 minutes in length. The two end with expressions of mutual respect that is not common in our vitriolic discourse.