Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hey, You Never Know

From a Wall Street Journal profile of Judge Vaughn Walker, the man presiding over the challenge against California's Proposition 8:
Two days into the trial over the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8 gay-marriage ban, Judge Vaughn Walker has upset some opponents of gay marriage by allowing gay couples to testify on the meaning of marriage.
Judge Walker has been open to testimony that was "totally irrelevant to the issues of the case," said former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese III. He wrote in Sunday's New York Times that Judge Walker has tilted the case in favor of gay-marriage proponents.

...[Judge Walker] has a mainstream Republic pedigree. He was nominated for a judgeship by President Ronald Reagan in 1987, when Mr. Meese was attorney general.

Democrats assailed the nomination because Judge Walker was member of an all-male private club. (He resigned his membership during the nomination process.) Gay-rights activists protested his appointment because, as a private lawyer, he had represented the U.S. Olympic Committee in a copyright suit against an organization called the Gay Olympics.

Sometimes folks surprise you.

1 comment:

N. Friedman said...

Then again, the trial is not over and the decision has not been published. And, the political need for the judge to seem fair, especially in areas where he might be perceived as being biased - due to past legal work -, may be large. And, the trial is, evidently, being webcast, so there is the need for everyone to be on best behavior - which is not a criticism but a fact.

Then again, judges tend to believe in deciding cases of their facts and the law. So, most likely, he is doing what a good judge does - listening to the evidence.

The trial appears to be a bench trial, from what I can discern. If that is the case, allowing in testimony that would be kept from a jury is not much of an indication of anything.