Thursday, April 28, 2011

Prop H8ters Want Hearing to Disqualify Judge Walker, Overturn His Ruling

Last year Judge Vaughn Walker made the historic ruling that California's Proposition 8, the Mormon-financed voter initiative that banned same-sex marriage, violated the 14th amendment to the US constitution. Walker retired from the bench after the landmark case and came out publicly in an interview with Reuters earlier this month. Walker said it never occurred to him  to remove himself from the case

Walker told the news service it would not be appropriate for any judge's sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin or gender to stop them from presiding over a case. "That's a very slippery slope," Walker said.

For many observers, Walker's sexual orientation was always considered an open secret. Although he has never before discussed his sexual orientation in the press, Walker disclosed to Reuters that he has been in a 10-year relationship with a physician.

The anti-equality forces have jumped all over this revelation, although they never raised the issue during the trial. Prop H8 proponents have been granted a hearing in June to look into whether Judge Vaughn Walker should have recused himself from the case, since he would directly benefit from overturning the anti-gay voter initiative.

The Associated Press reports:
Chief U.S. District Judge James Ware's order issued Wednesday said he was fast-tracking the motion involving his retired predecessor, former Chief Judge Vaughn Walker, with a June 13 hearing date.
Lawyers for the sponsors of the voter-approved gay marriage ban have asked Ware to vacate Walker's decision overturning Proposition 8 as a violation of gay Californian's civil rights.
Walker disclosed this month that he has a male partner of 10 years, but said he never considered removing himself from the case.
Judicial ethics experts say the bid to overturn the judge's ruling is unlikely to succeed.
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