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Thread: U.S. gay judge never thought to drop marriage case

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    U.S. gay judge never thought to drop marriage case

    UPDATE 1-U.S. gay judge never thought to drop marriage case | Reuters

    SAN FRANCISCO, April 6 (Reuters) - The U.S. judge who struck down California's gay marriage ban never considered his own homosexuality as a reason to recuse himself from the case, he said on Wednesday.

    Former U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's comments were his first on what legal observers have been been intensely -- but quietly -- discussing since the blockbuster case was filed. Some wondered whether his sexual orientation would affect his decision and how it would be received.

    However the group defending California's gay marriage ban, Proposition 8, refrained from raising the issue in court. Walker eventually struck down Prop 8 as unconstitutional, and the case is currently on appeal.
    Do you think that the proponents of Prop 8 will bring up Retired Judge Walker's sexual orientation in appeal? Should Walker have recused himself and why?

    In case anyone is interested, here is Walker's full ruling...

    California Prop 8 Ruling (August 2010)

    If you feel that Walker's sexual orientation somehow marred his judgment, then could you please point it out?

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    Re: Prop 8 judge admits he is gay

    Quote Originally Posted by CriticalThought View Post
    UPDATE 1-U.S. gay judge never thought to drop marriage case | Reuters



    Do you think that the proponents of Prop 8 will bring up Retired Judge Walker's sexual orientation in appeal? Should Walker have recused himself and why?

    In case anyone is interested, here is Walker's full ruling...

    California Prop 8 Ruling (August 2010)

    If you feel that Walker's sexual orientation somehow marred his judgment, then could you please point it out?
    On one hand, you could make a case for it, but then you'd have to find a non-sexual, virgin with no personal relationship. So on the surface, there is a "hmm", it just... doesn't really pan out. At all.
    Climate, changes. It takes a particularly uneducated population to buy into the idea that it's their fault climate is changing and further political solutions can fix it.



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    Re: Prop 8 judge admits he is gay

    And if you read the full decision, I think that most would quickly dismiss any question of bias controlling the decision. Justice Walker was very careful to do his due diligence. He walked through the argument step by step, point by point, and was very careful to explain his reasoning for arguments he found lacked credibility.

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    Re: Prop 8 judge admits he is gay

    yeah, i would say that A) everyone knew this already B) it helps eplain some of his behavior and C) he probably should have recused himself, but there is certainly no reason that he should have been forced to do so.

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    Re: Prop 8 judge admits he is gay

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    yeah, i would say that A) everyone knew this already
    Wrong. A lot of people speculated, but almost no one knew.

    B) it helps eplain some of his behavior
    Huh? What actions?

    and C) he probably should have recused himself, but there is certainly no reason that he should have been forced to do so.
    By that argument, a strait judge should have recused himself as well. The recusal argument is really stupid. By extension black judges should not rule on cases involving race, or hispanics, or whites, or asian, or...you see where that goes. Judges who own property should not rule on property cases. Holy ****, you have just destroyed our judicial system with one unthinking comment...
    We became a great nation not because we are a nation of cynics. We became a great nation because we are a nation of believers - Lindsey Graham

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    Uh oh Megyn...your vagina witchcraft is about ready to be exposed.

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    Re: Prop 8 judge admits he is gay

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    Wrong. A lot of people speculated, but almost no one knew.
    um. it was pretty much commonly understood the entire time. sort of like how everyone knew that Obama wouldn't fight for traditional marriage though he pretty promised that he supported it to get elected. I've been aware of it certainly since it got assigned to him.

    Huh? What actions?
    Staging a Show Trial on Same Sex Marriage:

    Midday on December 31, a curious document suddenly appeared on the official website of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Entitled “Notice Concerning Proposed Revision of Civil Local Rule 77-3,” the document states that the court “has approved for public comment” a revision of this rule. The document calls for public comments to be submitted “as soon as convenient and, in any event, no later than January 8, 2010” — a mere five business days from the publication of the notice. The proposed revision would alter the court’s longstanding prohibition on “public broadcasting or televising, or recording for these purposes in the courtroom or its environs, in connection with any judicial proceeding.” The revised rule would permit the televising of proceedings as part of a “pilot or other project authorized by the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit.”

    If all this seems arcane and mundane, don’t be fooled. On Monday, January 11, Judge Vaughn Walker, the chief judge of the Northern District of California, is set to commence trial in San Francisco in Perry v. Schwarzenegger... Walker’s New Year’s Eve surprise is a critical step in his evident ongoing effort to turn the lawsuit into a high-profile, culture-transforming, history-making, Scopes-style show trial of Proposition 8’s sponsors. Specifically, Walker is rushing to override longstanding prohibitions on televised coverage of federal trials so that he can authorize televised coverage of the Proposition 8 trial...

    The longstanding policy of the Judicial Conference of the United States — the body charged with ensuring fair and effective administration of the federal courts — opposes all broadcasting of civil and criminal cases in federal district courts. As the chairman of a Judicial Conference committee explained in congressional testimony in 2007, the Judicial Conference’s policy reflects the concern that televised proceedings could “undermine the fundamental rights of citizens to a fair trial.” Televising court proceedings, he said, “could jeopardize . . . the safety of trial participants” and “produce intimidating effects on litigants, witnesses, and jurors.”...

    In plain violation of these legal provisions, Walker, without prior notice, purported to amend Local Rule 77-3 on December 22, to make the revision that became the subject of the December 31 notice. Walker’s obvious purpose in doing so was to enable him to authorize televised coverage of the Proposition 8 case...

    Evidently realizing that his December 22 action was in fact unlawful, Walker directed that the December 31 notice inviting public comment be issued. But it’s clearly because of the purpose of the proposed revision — to enable televised coverage of the Proposition 8 case — that the period for public comments, which typically would run for 30 days or more, is so ridiculously short: It ends the Friday before the trial begins, so Walker will have time to rubber-stamp the revised rule. Walker might be able to claim that he will have technically complied with the governing federal statute, but his notice, issued on New Year’s Eve and affording only five business days for comment, could hardly be better calculated to evade the purpose of the statute...
    Show Trial on Prop 8:

    ...Unfortunately, Judge Vaughn Walker (a Bush 41 appointee who is, not incidentally, chief judge of the Northern District) has already given ample signs that he is eager not merely to strike down Proposition 8 but also to orchestrate a show trial of Proposition 8’s sponsors. To that end, he has taken three highly dubious steps:

    The first is his decision even to proceed to trial, rather than to rule, one way or the other, on plaintiffs’ claims as a matter of law (as has been the practice in other challenges to traditional marriage laws). Among the supposedly relevant factual issues that Walker somehow sees fit to explore are the views on homosexuality held by the sponsors of Proposition 8.

    Second, Walker authorized the plaintiffs to obtain access to the private communications of Proposition 8’s sponsors on campaign strategy—only to have his order overruled by a Ninth Circuit panel (of three Clinton appointees, no less).

    Third, despite his court’s longstanding ban on televising proceedings, Walker has been pressing—and, as I will explain soon, resorting to illegal action and other procedural shenanigans—to have the trial televised. A televised trial would of course produce much greater publicity for the circus and its ringmaster. It would also surely heighten the prospect that witnesses in support of Proposition 8 (and their attorneys) would face harassment and abuse, all the more so as the trial will take place in San Francisco...
    the Supreme Court had to step in to rein in this guys' shennanigans.

    Judge Walkers Facts:

    It has been clear since before the beginning of the year that Judge Vaughn Walker of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco was on a mission to establish a federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage and thereby to overturn California’s Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment passed by the people of the state in 2008.

    From his decision to have a “trial” of the “facts” in the case rather than proceed straightaway to legal arguments about the constitutional issues (a choice that surprised even the plaintiffs’ attorneys) to his attempt to stage a nationally televised extravaganza (brought to a halt by the Supreme Court) to his unconcealed bias in favor of the plaintiffs in virtually every aspect of the proceedings, Judge Walker has been preparing us for a baldfaced usurpation of political power for quite a while.

    What Walker did not prepare us for is the jaw-dropping experience of reading his sophomorically reasoned opinion. Of the 135 pages of the opinion proper, only the last 27 contain anything resembling a legal argument, while the rest is about equally divided between a summary of the trial proceedings and the judge’s “findings of fact.” The conclusions of law seem but an afterthought — conclusory, almost casually thin, raising more questions than they answer. On what grounds does Judge Walker hold that the considered moral judgment of the whole history of human civilization — that only men and women are capable of marrying each other — is nothing but a “private moral view” that provides no conceivable “rational basis” for legislation? Who can tell? Judge Walker’s smearing of the majority of Californians as irrational bigots blindly clinging to mere tradition suggests that he has run out of arguments and has nothing left but his reflexes...

    To take one example: It is hardly an incontrovertible fact that “Proposition 8 places the force of law behind stigmas against gays and lesbians.” But there it is, as finding No. 58. With “facts” like these, and appellate judges disinclined to question them, Judge Walker plainly hopes to propel this case toward a gay-marriage victory, regardless of how transparently weak his legal conclusions are...
    to cap; he did everything legal (and some things illegal) in his courtroom to tilt the room against Prop 8, made quite clear his conclusion was foregone, and then produced a ruling built around a series of "just-so" "findings of fact" that interposed his opinions in place of a legal argument.

    By that argument, a strait judge should have recused himself as well.
    a straight judge that acted in a similar manner probably should have.

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    Re: Prop 8 judge admits he is gay

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    um. it was pretty much commonly understood the entire time. sort of like how everyone knew that Obama wouldn't fight for traditional marriage though he pretty promised that he supported it to get elected. I've been aware of it certainly since it got assigned to him.
    1) My first is... so?
    2) My second is... Duh on Obama changing his positions. Bush promised to be a "compassionate conservative" and that didn't materialize either. Evolving political standards is common with all elected leaders.

    the Supreme Court had to step in to rein in this guys' shennanigans.
    If you call public access to the judicial system shennanigans... then true.

    to cap; he did everything legal (and some things illegal) in his courtroom to tilt the room against Prop 8, made quite clear his conclusion was foregone, and then produced a ruling built around a series of "just-so" "findings of fact" that interposed his opinions in place of a legal argument.
    He didn't do anything illegal. And if you have a problem with his decision, please quote the specific segments of his decision and prove him wrong.

    a straight judge that acted in a similar manner probably should have.
    Disagree whole heartedly. I want a judiciary that is interested in keeping the public informed and part of that is being able to see the trial as it progresses. It is allowed in some areas, not in others. SCOTUS has been inconsistent with their application of the no-media standard.

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    Re: Prop 8 judge admits he is gay

    Quote Originally Posted by OhReally? View Post
    1) My first is... so?
    that was the general reaction. some wondered if he should recuse himself due to the potential gain he could see by ruling as he eventually did, but nobody made the argument that he should be made to.

    2) My second is... Duh on Obama changing his positions. Bush promised to be a "compassionate conservative" and that didn't materialize either.
    and Judge Walker pretended that he was impartial and everyone knew it to be false the entire time as well.

    If you call public access to the judicial system shennanigans... then true.
    i call breaking the law in order to place people with whom you disagree at risk in order to place political pressure on them "shennanigans" at the least. even the famously liberal 9th Circuit agrees with me there, as they unanimously shut him down.

    He didn't do anything illegal
    actually he did. which is why the 9th shut him down and why he later changed tack. Articles I posted above explain in detail how this is so.

    And if you have a problem with his decision, please quote the specific segments of his decision and prove him wrong.
    i'll start with the pieces above that i notice you conveniently somehow forgot to answer:

    Judge Walkers False Facts:
    1. a constitutional amendment that carries with it the weight of the tradition of millenia as nothing more than a "private moral view" that can be discounted as meaningless
    2. that he has the right to decide that A) california voters are just a bunch of bigots and B) that therefore their votes don't count.
    3. that Prop 8 used the law to attack homosexuals.

    Disagree whole heartedly
    really. so if the judge had been a right-wing Southern Baptist and had based his opinion on the logic that "gays are just a bunch of queer-monkies who hate America (and Jesus)", then you would have been cool with that and moved on?

    me no think so.

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    Re: Prop 8 judge admits he is gay

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    By that argument, a strait judge should have recused himself as well.
    Um, not exactly here. This is a poor analogy.

    A Homosexual Judge has something to gain from this, as it essentially bestows the right of marriage upon him (even if he chooses to not have it)

    As the proponents of Same Sex Marriage have said for some time, allowing Gay Marriage doesn't do anything to straight people.

    EVERY gay person gains something from this ruling, even if they don't engage in the act of Marriage becuase they have the ABILITY to. Every straight person doesn't necessarily have a vested stake in this or even the average straight person doesn't have a vested stake that actually legally would affect them. Its far more reasonable to suggest that there would be bias on the part of a Homosexual towards this than there would be suggesting a bias of a striaght person against this.

    The far better analogy would be a Christian Fundamentalist judge, as then it is something going against his religious beliefs and it would be just as reasonable to suggest a bias on the part of him as it would be on the homosexual.

    Now that said, I don't think he should've recused himself, in part for the scenario I said above wouldn't make me think the fundamentalist judge should recuse himself. But the homosexual/straight analogy is a failed one for what you're arguing.

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    Re: Prop 8 judge admits he is gay

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    that was the general reaction. some wondered if he should recuse himself due to the potential gain he could see by ruling as he eventually did, but nobody made the argument that he should be made to.
    I don't see him needing to recuse himself.

    and Judge Walker pretended that he was impartial and everyone knew it to be false the entire time as well.
    No judge would have been "impartial" in this case unless they were an unmarried virgin.

    i call breaking the law in order to place people with whom you disagree at risk in order to place political pressure on them "shennanigans" at the least. even the famously liberal 9th Circuit agrees with me there, as they unanimously shut him down.
    He didn't break a law. The rules of procedure are not "laws".

    actually he did. which is why the 9th shut him down and why he later changed tack. Articles I posted above explain in detail how this is so.
    The opinion pieces you posted don't have facts that support their assertion.

    i'll start with the pieces above that i notice you conveniently somehow forgot to answer:

    Judge Walkers False Facts:
    1. a constitutional amendment that carries with it the weight of the tradition of millenia as nothing more than a "private moral view" that can be discounted as meaningless
    2. that he has the right to decide that A) california voters are just a bunch of bigots and B) that therefore their votes don't count.
    3. that Prop 8 used the law to attack homosexuals.
    That was not the actual assertion from the case. Go to the original source, not what someone who needs to spin the facts said.

    really. so if the judge had been a right-wing Southern Baptist and had based his opinion on the logic that "gays are just a bunch of queer-monkies who hate America (and Jesus)", then you would have been cool with that and moved on?

    me no think so.
    1. The logic was not based on his personal views, it was based on the facts of the case and the law. 2. I wouldn't have a problem with a different result from the social conservative who used the facts of the case and the law.

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