Alex Blaze

Homophobes Want Prop 8 Ruling Thrown Out because Judge Is Gay

Filed By Alex Blaze | April 26, 2011 8:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: California, judge, marriage, Prop. 8, vaughn walker

Prop 8 proponents have filed to have Vaughn Walker's ruling in favor of same-sex 478px-Vaughn_Walker_adj.jpgmarriage vacated because he's gay and, according to them, may benefit from his own ruling.

Opening a new front in the battle over Proposition 8, its proponents said former Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's recent comments about his 10-year relationship, which he had not disclosed during the trial, show that his "impartiality might reasonably have been questioned from the outset."

"No man can be a judge in his own case," said Charles Cooper, lawyer for the opponents of same-sex marriage. Because Walker has never disavowed the possibility that he will marry his partner, he had a "clear and direct stake in the outcome" of his own ruling, Cooper said.

This sort of argument seems to ban most judges from judging most cases, as a case involving income tax law for its basis or the plaintiff's standing wouldn't allow any judge who pays income tax to preside, a case about voting rights would disqualify any judge who has voted or plans to vote, or a case where a judge sentences a dangerous criminal who could, one day, live in the same city as the judge.

Also, by the Prop 8 supporters reasoning, all straight people who are married or who may ever marry should recuse themselves from this case. If they really believe their argument that same-sex marriage destroys opposite-sex marriage, then anyone who plans to marry is affected by the ruling.

The linked San Francisco Chronicle article has some quotes, and it sounds like this is the sort of thing other judges are reticent to rule in favor of. It certainly doesn't endear the Prop 8 lawyers to anyone but their donors.

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According to Walker, he did not consider there to be a valid defendant because he immediately claimed that the party he allowed to respond to the suit and participate in the trial had no standing to appeal.

The big question the Gay Community should be asking of Walker right now is: "Why Didn't He Enter A Default Judgment when the Governor and Attorney General of CA declined to defend Prop 8?"

While an entry of default would have immediately benefited gay people in CA, it would not have benefited AFER taking an appeal to the US Supreme Court.

The thing that they still fail to target is the fact that it was a well thought out and argued position...

They can't actually attack that, and it will continue to stand up.

Of course, straight cis white males never adjudicate based on their biases. And no person of color should be allowed to be a judge because their judgements would be biased.

Exactly ... do the homophobes realize how many decisions we could have appealed throughout history because the judges were straight?

The motion over Walker's failure to recuse is moot if there were no defendants with proper standing in the case. I suspect the people who filed the motion are fully aware of this.

The Real Issue (as previously stated) is "how this case landed on Walker's desk?". Claiming that Walker should have disqualified himself from the ase is simply one way of provoking an investigation into how Walter got the case in the first place.

Rick Sutton | April 26, 2011 1:08 PM

If the far-right wants to make this argument wiht a (pun) straight face, then I make this one:

I want the Citizens United SCOTUS ruling thrown out because Clarence Thomas is a legal dope.

And because his wife actively works for some of the plaintiffs and/or their allies, who contribute mightily to the Thomas household.

I could go on...there are so many reasons to dislike a judge's personal beliefs. If they have conflicts and don't recuse, you're f**ked.

Why not throw out Citizens United because all the judges had an interest in the case: their lives are affected by the people who get elected to office. Clearly, we need Canadians to judge our cases.

The thing is, they are always claiming that same-sex marriage will hurt straight marriages. So that would mean that straight folks will personally gain from throwing out the Prop 8 ruling.

I'm guessing they would insist upon a straight appeals judge (or likely get one just based on statistics). But if they win appeal then their own logic would require that appeals judge would have to recuse themselves? Which would mean that the appeals decision wouldn't have been made, so they wouldn't have to recuse themselves, but then they would make the decision requiring that they recuse themselves...

And then the paradox would create a tear in the space time continuum, creating a black hole that would consume the universe!

First do remember the stellar defense of Prop 8? Are they saying they lost because the judge was bias? When you have defunct expert witnesses and very little to actually stand on then the judge would have no choice but to reach the same decision.

Second, by this notion then a African American judge can not sit before a racially based hate crime? That a woman can not judge a plaintiff of unfair work policies based on gender? I'm sorry what!

Lastly, judges enforce the law that we must LIVE by. The proponents of Prop 8 do not have to live with the ramifications. They were not able to show harm towards opposite sex couples. But we all know the harm/disadvantages Prop 8 has towards same sex couples. So he has lived the life and knows directly how the law effects common citizens of California.