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-Conflict of Interest for Prop. 8 Judge?

by Dr. D ~ February 13th, 2010

image According to the San Francisco Chronicle:

“The biggest open secret in the landmark trial over same-sex marriage being heard in San Francisco is that the federal judge who will decide the case, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, is himself gay.”

The writers go on to assure us that the judge is impartial and should not have to recuse himself from the case. Besides the case was assigned to him on a random basis.

Others are not so sure of the impartiality of this judge and say that on every turn he has tried to make it a media circus. Also they point out that this judge has forced Prop. 8 supporters to turn over all of their campaign correspondence without requiring the same from the opposition.

Here’s a different take on the matter by Ed Whelan, President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center:

“From the outset, Walker’s entire course of conduct in the anti-Prop 8 case has reflected a manifest design to turn the lawsuit into a high-profile, culture-transforming, history-making, Scopes-style show trial of Prop 8’s sponsors.”

“Walker’s entire course of conduct has only one sensible explanation. That Walker is hell bent to use the case to advance the cause of same-sex marriage”

“Given his manifest inability to be impartial, Walker should have rescused himself from the beginning, and he remains obligated to do so now.”

Response: This does not bode well for the case. The pro Prop 8 lawyers have decided not to make the judge an issue. However that does not stop the rest of us from questioning this choice.

Fortunately or unfortunately no matter how he rules it is probably headed for the Ninth Circuit and eventually the Supreme Court. Already some of his actions have given the Prop 8 supporters a solid basis for seeking a higher ruling.

One good thing, If this judge does rule in favor of the Prop 8 then the opponents will have very little recourse for complaints or referral.        *Top

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