Prop 8 sponsors file motion to vacate Judge Walker’s ruling following disclosure of his sexual orientation

April 25, 2011 at 4:46 pm 257 comments

By Adam Bink

They really are grasping at straws now:

The sponsors of California’s same-sex marriage ban said Monday that the recent disclosure by the federal judge who struck down Proposition 8 that he is in a long-term relationship with another man has given them new grounds to have his historic ruling overturned.

Lawyers for the ban’s backers filed a motion in San Francisco’s U.S. District Court, arguing that Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker should have removed himself from the case or at least disclosed his relationship status because his “impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”

“Only if Chief Judge Walker had unequivocally disavowed any interest in marrying his partner could the parties and the public be confident that he did not have a direct personal interest in the outcome of the case,” attorneys for the coalition of religious and conservative groups that put Proposition 8 on the November 2008 ballot wrote.

They are now asking the judge who inherited the case when Walker retired at the end of February to vacate Walker’s August 2010 decision. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals already is reviewing the legal merits of Walker’s ruling at the request of Proposition 8’s proponents.

Lawyers for the two same-sex couples who successfully sued for the right to marry in Walker’s court were reviewing the motion and did not have immediate comment.

[…]

Lawyers for Protect Marriage, the coalition of religious and conservative groups that sponsored Proposition 8, however, have not previously raised his sexual orientation as a legal issue.

Protect Marriage general counsel Andy Pugno said that changed when the judge this month told a group of courthouse reporters about his 10-year relationship. The issue is not that Walker is gay, but that his relationship status made him too similar to the same-sex couples who sued for the right to marry, Pugno said.

“We deeply regret the necessity of this motion. But if the courts are to require others to follow the law, the courts themselves must do so as well,” Pugno added.

Walker said at the time that he did not consider his sexual orientation to be any more a reason for recusal than another judge’s race or gender normally would be.

I wonder if Pugno and Co. would say that being a woman would imperil a female judge’s impartiality in a case on abortion. Or that conservative Supreme Court Justice Thomas should recuse himself on civil rights cases.

In all seriousness, the vision that the proponents of Prop 8 have for the country and our legal system is a dystopia.

Update: The motion can be found here (h/t Kathleen).

Update 2: Reading through, the hearing on this is set for July 11th at 9 AM in San Francisco. You can bet I’ll be there providing coverage.

Update 3: Checking in with some top legal minds who are colleagues and friends, there seems to be universal consensus that this was a mistake will piss off the 9th Circuit and probably judges everywhere. The reason why is simple: judges don’t like having their impartiality, or the impartiality of their colleagues, questioned. It’s a very slippery slope: married men who have marital troubles making ruling on divorce proceedings, women ruling on domestic abuse or abortion cases, African-Americans ruling on discrimination. Really, the slippery slope includes pretty much everyone. If there are accusations of bias, let’s see hard evidence. Otherwise, Andy Pugno dug an even deeper hole.

Entry filed under: Briefs, Prop 8 trial.

Couples Torn Apart by the Government: Marriage News Watch for April 25, 2011 What NOM Chair Maggie Gallagher said about Judge Walker’s sexual orientation

257 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Alan E.  |  April 25, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I’m really sure they regret having to do this. /sarcasm

    Reply
    • 2. Kathleen  |  April 25, 2011 at 5:17 pm

      Reply
      • 3. Straight for Equality  |  April 25, 2011 at 5:44 pm

        Reply
        • 4. JonT  |  April 25, 2011 at 5:48 pm

          I wish I could quit you P8TT.

          :)

          Reply
          • 5. Kathleen  |  April 25, 2011 at 6:03 pm

            Resistance is futile.

          • 6. Kate  |  April 25, 2011 at 7:51 pm

            P8TT is not a choice.

          • 7. LCH  |  April 25, 2011 at 11:04 pm

            ♀♀=♂♂=♀♂=∑♡

          • 8. Ed Cortes  |  April 26, 2011 at 6:43 am

            We have been assimilated, and I really need more reading!!

  • 9. Michelle Evans  |  April 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Yes, and all heterosexual judges must also recuse themselves as being just as biased, by that supposedly Pugno and Cooper logic.

    Reply
    • 10. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  April 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm

      indeed! doh!

      Reply
    • 11. Straight for Equality  |  April 25, 2011 at 7:28 pm

      And who judges issues regarding the elderly? What judge can we be sure will never become old and possibly benefit from decisions that favor the elderly?

      Reply
  • 12. Ann S.  |  April 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    §

    Reply
  • 13. Ronnie  |  April 25, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Second verse same as the first…subscribing….<3…Ronnie

    Reply
  • 14. fiona64  |  April 25, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    They want us to live in the Republic of Gilead.

    Which means that my name should be OfJeff, in their minds.

    They are truly disturbed individuals.

    Love,
    Fiona

    Reply
  • 15. Ben  |  April 25, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    And … who, exactly, would they suggest would be impartial in this matter? Oh, wait … this system does not require impartiality, merely the ability to accurately evaluate one’s own experiences in relation to the experiences of others and the value of a law to society.

    Furthermore, their arguments failed on a purely logical basis, when the simple answer “I don’t know” was heard from their own lawyer’s mouth. But … here we go again.

    Reply
    • 16. nightshayde  |  April 25, 2011 at 4:59 pm

      You don’t have to be impartial as long as you’re pro-discrimination (in their minds).

      Reply
      • 17. Ben  |  April 25, 2011 at 5:10 pm

        Yeah … It’s easier when you’re falling downhill, right? They still don’t get the “finite do-overs” concept, do they? They can always argue it at the next level, if it’s deemed appropriate …

        Reply
  • 18. Wayne Blizzard  |  April 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    The proponents — and everyone else — have known Judge Walker’s orientation from the beginning. I’ve had the impression that they didn’t want to bring it up for fear that it would seem petty and personal, diminishing their standing with independents. It’s my estimation that trotting out this “Shocked! Shocked, I say!” ploy so late in the game indicates that they’re feeling rather desperate.

    Reply
    • 19. Neil  |  April 25, 2011 at 5:18 pm

      Oh, thanks. Now I have to rent “Casablanca.”

      Reply
  • 20. Sagesse  |  April 25, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    i believe the phrase is ‘jumping the shark’.

    Reply
    • 21. Sagesse  |  April 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm

      I don’t think I can read this one.

      Reply
    • 22. Marlene  |  April 25, 2011 at 5:05 pm

      The bigots jumped the shark my dear when they claimed their “expert” witnesses were too afraid to testify for fear of being harassed by teh evul gayz!

      Then it was found their so-called “experts” were shredded by the Team Supreme!

      Reply
  • 23. The Gog.  |  April 25, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    It is hard to believe. The proponents of 8 are using sexuality as a negative against a gay? This is so unlike them. Seriously, are they buying time? It is difficult to take this one seriously.

    Reply
  • 24. Rev. Will Fisher  |  April 25, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Is Judge Walker a Florida resident? If so wouldn’t he be ineligible to marry in CA?

    Reply
    • 25. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  April 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm

      Residency nor citizenship proof is required to marry in CA.

      Reply
    • 27. Joel  |  April 25, 2011 at 6:40 pm

      Nope. Mark and I were married in CA while being residents of NV. As far as I know, MA was the only state to require residency, and I believe they dropped that requirement some time ago.

      Reply
      • 28. karen in kalifornia  |  April 26, 2011 at 6:18 pm

        Because that a 1913 law that was not enforced until Mitt Romney thought it should be to keep teh gays from destroying heterosexual marriage. lol.

        Reply
  • 29. Greg  |  April 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Just when you think the proponents couldn’t possibly lower themselves any further – they somehow manage to find a way. Amazing.

    Reply
  • 30. Trish  |  April 25, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    I really enjoy their use of scare quotes to criticize the findings of “fact” by Judge Walker.

    Reply
  • 31. Neil  |  April 25, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    I read the article and thought, “Are people really this dumb?” Oh, yeah. Never mind. /headsmack

    Reply
  • 32. Mark  |  April 25, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Wow, just wow. This is pathetic and is just going to, rightfully, cause them more damage politically. When you point a finger four point back at yourself.

    Reply
  • 33. Mike  |  April 25, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    What a headache. I was 20 years old when San Francisco legalized gay marriage. Back then it wasnt a big deal to me, I just thought… its about time, and that those who supported anti gay laws were from the time of the ignorant, the 80s and 90s, and long gone by now.

    Then Prop 8 was introduced and blew me away. I am 26 years old now and my life is going to pass me by before I get the chance to marry the man I love. I have been with him for 2 years, and he had to return to Sao Paolo because his student visa expired.

    I have been paying close attention, and every time I see something like this, I keep thinking… it is going to add another year to the outcome of this case. I could be well in my 30s before anything is resolved, others could die of old age or illness, and then they would have missed out on deserved liberties and rights.

    It is sad, and the proponents of prop8 remain ignorant to all of this, and stand up on a self righteous pedestal nitpicking at every filthy chance they get.

    Reply
    • 34. Wayne Blizzard  |  April 25, 2011 at 5:25 pm

      Mike, I’m sorry about how this whole thing is screwing up the life you and your partner should be able to freely share. The only solace is that we are so much further along than we were even five years ago…but love can’t (and shouldn’t have to) wait. Best wishes to you and your man.

      Reply
    • 35. karen in kalifornia  |  April 26, 2011 at 6:20 pm

      Not to worry Mike, I’ll be dead before my partner and I can marry. You at least will have a chance in your lifetime.

      Reply
  • 36. Kathleen  |  April 25, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    UPDATE: Perry

    Plaintiffs’ Reply in support of unsealing the trial recordings.

    Reply
    • 37. Wayne Blizzard  |  April 25, 2011 at 5:26 pm

      I don’t understand the significance of this. Can you help me?

      Reply
      • 38. Wayne Blizzard  |  April 25, 2011 at 5:28 pm

        Oh, wait, okay, I’m dorking out. I get it now.

        Reply
        • 39. Peterplumber  |  April 25, 2011 at 7:01 pm

          Darn, I was hoping someone would explain, so I didn’t have to read the thing myself.

          Reply
    • 40. Judy  |  April 25, 2011 at 7:48 pm

      I love the use of the phrase “Home of the Brave” at the end.

      Reply
  • 41. Rhie  |  April 25, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Watching

    Reply
  • 42. Carpool Cookie  |  April 25, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Where is the actual brief?

    (I know it’s not actually a “brief” yet…but I mean the legal paperwork / argument / complaint…?)

    Reply
    • 43. Trish  |  April 25, 2011 at 5:30 pm

      The link is now available at the very bottom of the post above

      Reply
      • 44. Carpool Cookie  |  April 25, 2011 at 6:41 pm

        Thanks!

        Reply
  • 45. CaliGirl  |  April 25, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Wow. Seriously? Logic fail.

    Reply
  • 46. Eden James  |  April 25, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Hey everyone!

    Just wanted to say, for the record: Andy Pugno is a moron. That is all.

    — Eden (formerly with Courage, now with Change.org)

    Reply
    • 47. Sagesse  |  April 25, 2011 at 5:51 pm

      Well… yes. And what does that make Chuck Cooper?

      Reply
    • 48. AnonyGrl  |  April 25, 2011 at 6:18 pm

      Hi Eden! Thanks for stopping in! Good to see you (and keep up the good work you are doing at Change.org!)

      And yes, Andy Pugno is a moron. You are correct sir!

      :)

      Reply
  • 49. nightshayde  |  April 25, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    So — who decides on this matter? Can that decision be appealed by whichever side doesn’t like it?

    What are the odds that Walker’s decision gets tossed because of this?

    Reply
    • 50. Greg  |  April 25, 2011 at 6:05 pm

      My guess are that the odds are between slim and none. And Slim has already left on a train to Texas.

      Reply
    • 51. Kathleen  |  April 25, 2011 at 6:08 pm

      The motion was filed in district court – so the new Chief Judge Ware, who is now the presiding judge in the case. It looks like Proponents tentatively scheduled a hearing on the matter for July 11. That date may change or the judge could decide that no hearing is necessary. And yes, the results can be appealed, and I’m sure they will be.

      Reply
  • 52. Lincoln Wilderq  |  April 25, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Judge Randy N. Smith is a Mormon. Why aren’t they asking that he be removed from this case as well? After all, it has been well established that they and their members played a huge role leading up to November 2008.

    Reply
    • 53. Chris  |  April 25, 2011 at 10:09 pm

      If he chooses not to vacate the ruling, it will be hilarious to see the proponents spin about this activist Mormon judge.

      Reply
    • 54. Kathleen  |  April 26, 2011 at 6:56 am

      I’m sure the issue will wind up in the 9th Circuit eventually, but just so everyone is clear about it… this motion to vacate was filed in district court and will initially be heard by Judge Ware, the judge who took over the case in district court when Walker retired.

      Reply
      • 55. AnonyGrl  |  April 26, 2011 at 7:03 am

        Is it likely, in your opinion, to GO that far?

        Reply
      • 56. Kathleen  |  April 26, 2011 at 7:30 am

        When Ware refuses to vacate the decision, I can’t imagine the Proponents letting go of the issue and deciding not to appeal Ware’s decision.

        Reply
  • 57. Father Bill  |  April 25, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Look at the silver lining – if the Courts buy that logic than Scalia, Alito and maybe Roberts would have to recuse themselves from deciding this case since the Pope has already tod Roman Catholics what they must think about the issue.

    Reply
    • 58. Wayne  |  April 25, 2011 at 6:02 pm

      That’s not an insignificant argument! Excellent point!

      Reply
      • 59. Greg  |  April 25, 2011 at 6:08 pm

        But the Supreme Court (except for the two justices who are Jewish) is entirely Catholic. In other words, for the first time in U.S. History, there are no Protestant justices on the Supreme Court.

        Reply
        • 60. Wayne  |  April 25, 2011 at 6:10 pm

          I know, isn’t that astonishing?

          Reply
        • 61. Carpool Cookie  |  April 25, 2011 at 6:45 pm

          Well, I would probably rather have 2 Jewish people deciding this case, anyway. (No offense intended to anyone present.)

          signed – – – Cookie (The Unitarian Universalist)

          Reply
          • 62. tomato  |  April 25, 2011 at 7:04 pm

            Cosigned – – – Tomato (also a Unitarian Universalist)

          • 63. Rhie  |  April 25, 2011 at 7:13 pm

            For me it would probably depend on whether they were Hassidic, Orthodox, Conservative or Reformed :)

    • 64. Peterplumber  |  April 25, 2011 at 7:03 pm

      Remember that, in case the time comes….

      Reply
    • 65. Don in Texas  |  April 26, 2011 at 8:27 am

      Sotomayor, Kennedy and Thomas also are Catholic. Ginsberg, Breyer and Kagan are Jewish.

      There currently are no protestants on SCOTUS.

      Reply
  • 66. AnonyGrl  |  April 25, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    Cooper is looking more and more like a drowning man clutching at straws to stay afloat. This issue was thoroughly dismissed while the case was still in Walker’s hands; there is absolutely nothing to it.

    I don’t even want to read the brief, because I am certain it would just piss me off.

    Reply
  • 67. adambink  |  April 25, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Some updates above, folks.

    Reply
  • 68. Straight Ally #3008  |  April 25, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Well, a heterosexual judge couldn’t rule impartially either, because same-sex marriage would hurt his or her marriage or potential future marriage. Right, NOM? Riiiiight?

    Reply
    • 69. Michael Ejercito  |  April 25, 2011 at 10:18 pm

      Well, a heterosexual judge couldn’t rule impartially either, because same-sex marriage would hurt his or her marriage or potential future marriage. Right, NOM? Riiiiight?

      Not necessarily.

      A heterosexual judge who was either an official proponent of Proposition 8 (assume, for the sake of argument, that the judge was appointed to the bench following the passage of Proposition 8) or was married to an official proponent of Proposition 8 would have a duty to recuse.

      Reply
      • 70. Ronnie  |  April 25, 2011 at 10:24 pm

        This has been talked about ad nauseam….& you have been debunked on this in the past several times….please stop…. 8 / …Ronnie

        Reply
        • 71. Michael Ejercito  |  April 26, 2011 at 2:40 am

          So then a judge who had been an official proponent of Proposition 8 would have no duty to disclose, if not recuse, from a case concerning the constitutionality of Proposition 8?

          Reply
          • 72. Ronnie  |  April 26, 2011 at 6:28 am

            I will repeat for the TROLL….

            This has been talked about ad nauseam….& you have been debunked on this in the past several times….please stop…. 8 / …Ronnie

          • 73. Sheryl Carver  |  April 26, 2011 at 8:34 am

            If we don’t respond to trolls, they do go away. Usually sooner, but sometimes later.

      • 74. Joel  |  April 26, 2011 at 7:00 am

        A heterosexual judge would either have to be a proponent of prop 8 or against it; either position would, according to you, would necessitate the recusal of that judge. I do believe it would be impossible to find a judge who had no thoughts whatsoever on marriage equality. Who would you have hear this case, then?

        I occasionally appreciate your devil’s advocacy, Mr. Ejercito, but you’re way out in left field here. Do you have any legal training at all?

        Reply
        • 75. Michael Ejercito  |  April 26, 2011 at 10:36 am

          A heterosexual judge would either have to be a proponent of prop 8 or against it

          Maybe you should try to understand the concept of a proponent before making the argument.

          In Citizens for Jobs and the Economy v. Orange County , the California Court of Appeal heard an appeal, by proponents of a challenged initiative, alleging that the initiative statute was valid. Orange County did not file notice of appeal. The Court of Appeal reached a merits decision , instead of dismissing the appeal for lack of standing, as they would had someone who was merely a voter had noticed an appeal. The Citizens for Jobs court evidently recognized the status proponents have and their special rights and duties, which including appealing a lower court decision striking down their initiative. Because of the special status of a proponent, proponents are obviously disqualified from being judges in court challenges against their initiatives, while merely having voted for the initiative is insufficient grounds for disqualification.

          Reply
          • 76. Ronnie  |  April 26, 2011 at 10:42 am

            Maybe you should try to understand the concept of a law degree before you pretend to be a lawyer…just saying, Mr. I have a BA in Finance (not law) & work as a realtor

            8 / …..Ronnie

          • 77. AnonyGrl  |  April 26, 2011 at 11:21 am

            And thus, Michael, do we once again dismiss the idea that Judge Walker needed to be recused from the case.

            His status as a gay man is essentially equivalent to that of an average voter, not a proponent. And as there is absolutely no proof of any stronger connection with the Prop 8 issue, there is no reason to remove him.

            Remember, our court system works on the principle of “innocent until proven guilty.” Thus, if Judge Walker says that he never saw a need to recuse himself, unless there is strong evidence to the contrary, this entire motion by the proponents, based on the single fact that he is gay, is spurious. And rather offensive. And completely dismissable.

          • 78. Joel  |  April 26, 2011 at 11:36 am

            Once again, have you any legal training? Or just access to a legal library and a Latin dictionary.

            What makes Judge Walker a “proponent” of prop 8? Simply the fact that he’s gay? Won’t float, Mr. Ejercito, no matter how much irrelevant caseload you quote.

          • 79. Michael Ejercito  |  April 26, 2011 at 12:43 pm

            His status as a gay man is essentially equivalent to that of an average voter, not a proponent.

            It was not his status as a gay man; it was his long term, committed relationship, and the fact that the plaintiffs sought an injunction that would have applied to him personally .

          • 80. Ronnie  |  April 26, 2011 at 12:48 pm

            His relationship is the product of being a gay man….therefore it is because he is a gay man….

            A once again….The ruling in Loving v. Virginia applies to every Judge that ruled on it. They were all granted a Federal Constitutional right that they did not have prior to Loving v. Virginia….please stop…. > I ….ronnie

          • 81. fiona64  |  April 26, 2011 at 12:49 pm

            So, Michael — since your relationship goals (per your Myspace) are to find “A woman who has never been married or had kids, who is pretty enough to have sex with” — please explain how you know whether someone plans to marry, regardless of the duration of their relationship.

            And, while you’re at it, please tell us why you like to pretend that you’re a lawyer.

            Kthxbye.

          • 82. Ann S.  |  April 26, 2011 at 1:14 pm

            “A woman who has never been married or had kids, who is pretty enough to have sex with”

            Here I thought it would be someone interested in talking about legal cases from the 1800s. But no — it’s all about looks and lack of baggage, apparently.

          • 83. Michael Ejercito  |  April 26, 2011 at 1:19 pm

            So, Michael — since your relationship goals (per your Myspace) are to find “A woman who has never been married or had kids, who is pretty enough to have sex with” — please explain how you know whether someone plans to marry, regardless of the duration of their relationship.

            And that is the point. The parties could not know if Walker had plans to marry, because he did not disclose the relationship.

            In the school music program sex discrimination case example I gave earlier, the judge in that case would have a duty to disclose if she had a daughter attending the school. If she does not disclose in a timely manner, like before the entry of judgment, vacatur would be required, even if the daughter was not involved with the school music program or had applied to that program.

          • 84. fiona64  |  April 26, 2011 at 1:24 pm

            Way to not answer the question, Michael.

            Did they teach you that in the Imaginary Law School you attended?

            I rather imagine that *if* Judge Walker and his long-time partner had wanted to marry, they certainly could have done so a) during the open window and b) in any of the other states where such marriage is already legal and (in case you hadn’t noticed), where the sky is not falling. Not all people in long-term relationships wish to marry, for any number of reasons.

            I wonder why you are so obsessed with pretending an education that you quite plainly lack.

          • 85. fiona64  |  April 26, 2011 at 1:25 pm

            @Ann — Yep, looks and no baggage. Which causes me to wonder why the lady in question might want to be with this paragon of windbaggery, myself.

          • 86. Ronnie  |  April 26, 2011 at 1:25 pm

            Irrelevant….show some respect & answer the questions….. > / …Ronnie

          • 87. Ann S.  |  April 26, 2011 at 1:48 pm

            @Fiona — what a shame I’m married and have a child, huh?

          • 88. AnonyGrl  |  April 26, 2011 at 1:50 pm

            The parallel case to what you site is that if Judge Walker was trying to marry one of the plaintiffs, he would have to disclose. He is not. Even that he may, one day, decide he wants to marry someone is NOT SUFFICIENT REASON to recuse himself. Currently, he has no vested interest in the case, as he has stated. He is gay. Not our business, never has been. NOT A CONSIDERATION. If he says he has no reason to recuse himself, you need a much more solid reason than “he is gay and he might want to marry so we need to hound him to declare every intention he ever has on the subject RIGHT NOW!”.

            The daughter in the school is a verifiable fact, and might constitute a reason. “He might want to marry” is pure supposition, based entirely on innuendo. This does not constitute a reasonable concern, Michael, no matter how many different ways you say it.

            Bringing up his various rulings only shows that he has made a series of consistent rulings based on the facts presented to him. Currently, his ruling is under consideration in the 9th Circuit, and will be decided on there. Do you understand that a claim that his rulings are biased, based soley on the fact that he has made those rulings, is completely unsupported? If you want to prove bias, you have to show that he is biased OUTSIDE of his rulings. Otherwise, he is simply a judge who ruled in ways you don’t like, but we already knew that to be true.

          • 89. fiona64  |  April 26, 2011 at 3:45 pm

            I know, Ann. Why, if I hadn’t been married twice, I’d be all over that splendid opportunity. @@

          • 90. Ann S.  |  April 26, 2011 at 5:24 pm

            @Fiona, I’ve been mulling over where the line may fall between “pretty” and “pretty enough to have sex with”. ‘Tis a puzzlement.

          • 91. Kathleen  |  April 26, 2011 at 5:27 pm

            And if they’re not the same, for which one is the bar set higher?

          • 92. Ann S.  |  April 26, 2011 at 5:31 pm

            @Kathleen, I was wondering that, too — which is the higher standard?

            Is it: “Oh, she’s not really pretty, just pretty enough to have sex with” — not very flattering to anyone involved, is it?

            Or is it: “She’s kinda pretty, but not pretty enough to have sex with” — again, not really flattering to anyone involved.

            The whole phrasing is rather sordid and shallow, really.

          • 93. nightshayde  |  April 26, 2011 at 5:50 pm

            Perhaps it’s not an issue of how high the bar is, but if he’s under it (or a table) or not…

            Plus, SHE would likely to be pretty far under the bar (or under the table) — or perhaps just in a really loud bar in which she couldn’t hear him speak.

            I’m married, AND I have a child. Guess I’m off the hook!

        • 94. Rhie  |  April 27, 2011 at 12:39 am

          Oh, he’s not playing Devil’s Advocate. He actually believes this crap. He never attended law school. He is a real estate agent with pretensions to the law.

          All of this has been answered before, several times over, in previous posts. If you want to tilt at this particular windmill, someone might learn something from what you say, but don’t expect this guy to do be one of them.

          Reply
      • 95. fiona64  |  April 26, 2011 at 9:23 am

        And you got your JD where, again, Michael?

        Oh, wait.

        Reply
  • 96. Mackenzie  |  April 25, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    I think my favorite comment is that they now have a problem with him being gay, because he has been in a long lasting relationship. So if he were gay, it is okay, but being gay and committed….well that is just outlandish. NOM, I thought you were in favor of committed couples.

    Honestly the stupid reasoning they come up with makes me nuts sometimes.

    Reply
    • 97. Doug  |  April 25, 2011 at 7:10 pm

      Right, Mackenzie. They have no problem with Walker being gay. Gosh, that would be homophobic! The mere thought…

      They simply are alarmed that he has been in a “10-year committed relationship,” which obviously disqualifies from sitting as a judge in this case.

      Let me know how that works out for ya’, Andy.

      Reply
  • 98. Jim  |  April 25, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    “Update 2: Reading through, the hearing on this is set for July 11th at 9 AM in San Francisco. You can bet I’ll be there providing coverage.”

    P8TT returns to its roots. Can’t wait. :)

    Reply
    • 99. Kate  |  April 25, 2011 at 6:47 pm

      So they have to provide a hearing whenever the opposition files for one?

      Reply
      • 100. Jim  |  April 25, 2011 at 7:19 pm

        Hmmm… excellent point. Maybe they just want to show off their wealth of legal talent again.

        Reply
        • 101. AnonyGrl  |  April 26, 2011 at 7:35 am

          Well, OK, THAT made me giggle!

          Reply
    • 102. adambink  |  April 25, 2011 at 7:27 pm

      Ho, yes.

      Reply
  • 103. The Reverend Canon Susan Russell  |  April 25, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    But they’re just fine with Thomas “not disclosing” what his Crazy Christian wife is up to. Lady Justice is weeping behind that blindfold!

    Reply
    • 104. Carpool Cookie  |  April 25, 2011 at 6:46 pm

      “Lady Justice is weeping behind that blindfold!”

      Maybe because she can’t marry the Statue of Liberty yet?

      Reply
      • 105. Kate  |  April 25, 2011 at 6:49 pm

        Oh Cookie, you are too much! I love you!!!!

        Reply
      • 106. Steve  |  April 26, 2011 at 2:35 am

        Justice kissing Liberty:

        Reply
  • 107. Bill  |  April 25, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Remember, Walker got the case by a random selection process. He did not ask for it.

    Reply
    • 108. Carpool Cookie  |  April 25, 2011 at 7:15 pm

      He also had the opportunity to marry this guy twice in the past, both when Mayor Gavin Newsom was distributing marriage certificates in 2004, and again after the In Re: Marriage Cases decision in 2008.

      Not that it matters….

      I think many, many people, gay and straight alike, would be rather ALARMED if it was assumed their long term relationships were automatic paths to marriage!

      They’d be like, Whuuuuut….????”

      Reply
      • 109. Doug  |  April 25, 2011 at 7:48 pm

        Good point, Cookie. Although I wonder if using logic to dissect the proponents’ arguments sets up an unfair fight; they seem content to rely on insinuation and unfounded prejudice–tools with which they are more familiar.

        Reply
      • 110. nightshayde  |  April 26, 2011 at 5:51 pm

        Plus, if he and his partner wanted to get married now, they could just travel to a jurisdiction in which it’s already legal.

        Reply
  • 111. PoxyHowzes  |  April 25, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Assuming that they got their fondest wishes (and that is plural, (a) that some court found Judge Walker to (appear to) have a conflict; and (b) that therefore, all Judge Walker’s decisions in this case must be thrown out (and believe me, (b) doesn’t necessarily follow from (a)!) then at the worst, the trial would happen all over again. Now, while that’s a terrible waste of time and money, it could well result in say, a non-gay judge finding exactly the same thing. I think if I were Cooper, Pugno, et al, I wouldn’t risk that.

    Reply
    • 112. PoxyHowzes  |  April 25, 2011 at 7:31 pm

      (More — trying to make each point separately)

      Judge Walker and his partner did not become part of the 18,000 folks who got married during the pre-prop8 “window.” That seems a fairly decent argument that they did not want to get married. It certainly does not seem like strong grounds to assume that the supposed conflict was because they DID want to get married!

      Reply
      • 113. BK  |  April 26, 2011 at 5:08 am

        A guy from focus on the family said that, “woulda, coulda” isn’t a solid argument. ROFL! It’s like saying, “he could have pushed the lady out of the window, so he’s guilty!” Well, maybe someone else better come up with the comparisons…

        Reply
    • 114. PoxyHowzes  |  April 25, 2011 at 7:33 pm

      More still:

      Pugno et al may believe that if they don’t raise this point they could be accused of not representing their client’s interests.

      OK! done for now.

      Reply
  • 115. Rachel H.  |  April 25, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    I suspect they know they’re going to lose in court anyway. This questioning of Walker’s integrity has nothing to do with winning the legal battle. With this, they’re moving out into the court of public opinion.

    They’ll be able to milk conservative anger at the courts for YEARS with this one, and they’ll line their pockets at the same time.

    Reply
    • 116. Ann S.  |  April 25, 2011 at 7:34 pm

      Good point — it’s not about the court, they’re trying to try this in the court of public opinion and keep lining their pockets.

      Reply
  • 117. Linda  |  April 25, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    I’m lost here; I don’t see the point of this move at all. After all, Walker’s decision is already being appealed. Obviously if Walker ruled based on his own personal bias and not based on evidence presented at trial, the State Supreme Court will uncover this and rule accordingly, right?

    Why, it’s almost as if Pugno and Cooper don’t want this to go to the SSC. Gosh, I just can’t understand why.

    Reply
    • 118. Rhie  |  April 25, 2011 at 8:00 pm

      The person who said it was for fundraising got it in one. Money…it’s always down to money.

      Reply
  • 119. Longestest Lurker  |  April 25, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    Seem’s if courts don’t like their impartiality questioned, the 9th could release the trial tapes. Walker was impartial – the public can see the videos for themselves in the interest of transparency.

    Reply
    • 120. Rachel H.  |  April 25, 2011 at 7:48 pm

      Works for me.

      Reply
    • 121. TomTallis  |  April 25, 2011 at 8:13 pm

      You’re right. Olson and Boies should add this reason to their request for the release of the trial tapes.

      Reply
    • 122. BK  |  April 26, 2011 at 5:10 am

      That would be… delicious. *evil grin*

      Reply
  • 123. Rebecca G  |  April 25, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    I’ve just read the entirety of their filing and it boils down to this. They have no problem with him being Gay, they have an issue with him being in a committed relationship and are assuming that he may have an interest in getting married.

    WOW! This is awesome! The are really embarrassing themselves and I don’t think this is going to bode well for them with Judges.

    Reply
    • 124. Kate  |  April 25, 2011 at 7:59 pm

      There you go, Peterplumber.

      Reply
    • 125. Ann S.  |  April 25, 2011 at 8:32 pm

      Apparently they would prefer if he were promiscuous?

      Reply
  • 126. TomTallis  |  April 25, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    No one, to my certain knowledge, has ever accused Andy Pugno of being intelligent, and I’m sure the voters who voted in his opponent last November are patting themselves on the back.

    I’d like to ask Pugno, nonetheless, whether in a church state separation case if he would demand that a Christian (or any religious) judge recuse himself…

    Reply
  • 127. Chrys  |  April 25, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    Sooo – it’s all a-okay that he’s gay, but the fact that he’s been in a stable long-term relationship is the issue? Well, obviously, I guess, because pretty much it’s all us folks who have been in stable long-term relationships that want to get married. All of us. Every one.

    And that’s so much worse than jumping from bed to bed, as we all know.

    You know, my lady and I actually do want to get married. But Judge Walker and his partner may not. And even if they do? A judge going through a divorce should recuse him or herself from any divorce cases, yes? Because they are too similar to the people in the case. A judge who is in the process of adoption clearly must not preside over any adoption cases.

    I really don’t see this as doing them any good – I’d expect it will just annoy the other judges.

    Reply
    • 128. Ed Cortes  |  April 26, 2011 at 6:58 am

      Don’t forget that a married judge may not preside over adoption cases, either, because the sole purpose of marriage is making babies!

      Reply
    • 129. Straight for Equality  |  April 26, 2011 at 12:15 pm

      It’s not just a judge going through a divorce that would have to recuse himself or herself from a divorce case. A married judge might want to get divorced at some time in the future (as Walker might want to get married someday) so would have to recuse, too.

      Reply
      • 130. Chrys  |  April 26, 2011 at 5:33 pm

        Oh, very good point. Honestly, I don’t think anyone out there is qualified to preside over any cases, because they might in some alternate universe be affected by the outcome. I’ll have to make all the decisions myself. :)

        Reply
      • 131. nightshayde  |  April 26, 2011 at 5:54 pm

        … and a promiscuous gay man may, at some point in the future, decide he wants to be in a stable committed relationship.

        So yeah – pretty much comes down to the whole gay thing, don’cha know?!

        Reply
  • 132. TomTallis  |  April 25, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Also, what do we know about James Ware, the judge who has replaced Walker on this case?

    Reply
    • 133. Kathleen  |  April 25, 2011 at 8:19 pm

      Here’s his wikipedia entry:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Ware_%28judge%29

      Reply
    • 135. Greg  |  April 25, 2011 at 8:22 pm

      We know he’s a federal judge. What else matters?

      Reply
      • 136. Sagesse  |  April 25, 2011 at 8:26 pm

        Well, for one thing, is he in a long-term committed relationship. Because if he is, how could he possibly be impartial. Or something.

        Reply
      • 137. Rhie  |  April 25, 2011 at 8:59 pm

        In a perfect world nothing else would matter. Unfortunately, this is far from a perfect world. Recusal law exists for a reason. There actually ARE judges who let personal views, money, power, money, religious views and money to influence the way they rule.

        Judges at the federal level are political appointments. That means there is a non-zero chance that the person who was appointed is influenced by political views of whoever appointed them. Especially with money involved. In big cases like this there is AWAYS money involved somewhere.

        Reply
  • 138. TomTallis  |  April 25, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Another thing, a Christian judge should have to recuse himself as well. According to the H8ers any judge who rules in favor of same sex marriage will burn in hell forever, so obviously a Bible Believeing Christian ™ could not rule impartially for fear of eternal damnation.

    What a can of worms this would open.

    Reply
    • 139. nightshayde  |  April 26, 2011 at 5:55 pm

      … and a Christian judge from a pro-equality church would clearly have a bias, so would have to recuse him/herself.

      Reply
  • 140. Heath  |  April 25, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    May the motion be swiftly denied, and its proponents’ sleep haunted for many nights with pangs of shame.

    Reply
  • 141. AB  |  April 25, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    How long before a reply must be filed? Has anyone heard anything from the legal team? I read Chad Griffin’s statement, and I really want to know more about what they are thinking. Were they caught by surprise?

    Reply
  • 142. AB  |  April 25, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    By the way…
    Judge Walker has ruled/participated in decisions/cases that were anti-gay in the past. So he can’t be impartial, eh?

    Reply
    • 143. Rhie  |  April 25, 2011 at 9:13 pm

      Oh yea, wasn’t one of the reasons he wasn’t originally appointed because he wasn’t Liberal enough on gay rights?

      Reply
      • 144. Ann S.  |  April 25, 2011 at 9:50 pm

        Yes, he worked for one of the big law firms and was representing the Int’l Olympic Committee against the organizers of the Gay Games. He was especially vilified by many for having a lien put on the home of a man who was dying of AIDS.

        Reply
        • 145. AB  |  April 25, 2011 at 10:01 pm

          Yep. That is exactly what I was thinking of Ann.
          But you know… he is biased in the favor of gays and lesbians. Totally.

          Reply
  • 146. Father Bill  |  April 25, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    I a womdering with all these procedural and side show motins whether the right wingnuts want the DOMA cases to go to SCOTUS first – then there were be no nasty record to deal with – just “constitutional jurisprudence” that can be decided in the ether.

    Reply
  • 147. Cat  |  April 25, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Watching Stonewal Uprising on PBS right now…

    Getting really angry and sad at the same time…

    And Pugno wants to continue the ignorance, insults and injuries…

    Reply
    • 148. Dave P  |  April 25, 2011 at 10:19 pm

      I was watching it too until just a few minutes ago when I switched to the news – and they were covering not only this topic of the motion to vacate (which was described as a desperate ‘hail Mary’ – nice!) but they also covered the topic of the law firm dropping out of the DOMA defense. Nice to see more of this stuff back in the mainstream news!

      Reply
      • 149. Maggie4NoH8  |  April 26, 2011 at 11:54 am

        It would be nice if it was on Fox News… Was it by chance?

        Reply
  • 150. dtwirling  |  April 25, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    You know, this move says much more about the Prop 8 supporters than it does about anything else.

    By accusing a 9th Circuit judge of partiality, what the Prop 8 supporters are really saying is If I had to decide this case in court, there’s no way I could be objective about it. Judge Walker must be biased!

    And yet, in that far off land of Reality, one of the key requirements of being a judge is the ability to review a mater impartially and within the scope of the law. There will always be some sort of bias. As many folks have pointed out… who would be considered fit to hold trial over a racism case in the 60’s? A judge might be perceived to have a bias if they are African American; but by the same token, a WASP judge could equally be perceived to hold bias.

    The very nature of judicial work requires judges to recognize their own biases and set those views aside when considering a matter of law.

    Pro-Prop8’ers are a bunch of whiners who have no other defense than to cry that Daddy just can’t understand that they’re right!

    I hope that these people are swiftly taught a lesson in civics by those deciding this case.

    Reply
    • 151. Michael Ejercito  |  April 25, 2011 at 10:15 pm

      As many folks have pointed out… who would be considered fit to hold trial over a racism case in the 60′s? A judge might be perceived to have a bias if they are African American; but by the same token, a WASP judge could equally be perceived to hold bias.

      This is true. And race alone is not a disqualifying factor.

      Now suppose the judge had an immediate family member who could immediately and directly gain or lose from the ruling. That changes the equation.

      For another example, let us assume, for the sake of argument, that there is a sex discrimination suit against a public school. The judge will be either a man or a woman, and will likely have bias one way or another. The sex of the judge is insufficient reason for recusal. The judge having a minor child attending the school would, at the very least, be grounds for disclosure, albeit waivable grounds.

      Reply
      • 152. Ronnie  |  April 25, 2011 at 10:20 pm

        & you know this, how?…. : / …..Ronnie

        Reply
      • 153. AB  |  April 25, 2011 at 11:10 pm

        Michael, you are looking at this wrong. Let’s try another hypothetical. Let’s say there is an affirmative action case. Should an African-American judge have to recuse herself?

        By your logic yes. Because, even if that judge had not benefited from Affirmative Action, they might in the future. Or their family might.

        Now let’s try another. Let’s say a judge is a woman and she comes across a sex discrimination case. Again, by your logic she would have to recuse: she could not assure the court that she would NEVER be discriminated against. No one could predict that.

        So theoretically, race and gender alone would always be a disqualifying factor. When you say “race alone is not a disqualifying factor”, you cannot honestly say that, because there are conceivable instances where race, or gender, alone COULD be a disqualifying factor.

        Reply
        • 154. Michael Ejercito  |  April 26, 2011 at 2:57 am

          Michael, you are looking at this wrong. Let’s try another hypothetical. Let’s say there is an affirmative action case. Should an African-American judge have to recuse herself?

          Not necessarily.

          Now, suppose the African-American judge has an immediate family member who is closely associated with the institution with the affirmative action policy in question. That requires disclosure to the parties.

          By your logic yes. Because, even if that judge had not benefited from Affirmative Action, they might in the future. Or their family might.

          The potential benefit has to be immediate and direct.

          Now let’s try another. Let’s say a judge is a woman and she comes across a sex discrimination case. Again, by your logic she would have to recuse: she could not assure the court that she would NEVER be discriminated against. No one could predict that.

          That is why, in the sex discrimination case example I gave, I stated that a judge’s sex is insufficient grounds for recusal, while a judge having a minor child attending the school at issue would require disclosure.

          Is this too hard to understand?

          Given this, your hypothetical is entirely non-responsive: according to Cooper & Co.’s logic, having a minor child at ANY public school would disqualify that particular judge.

          Only if all public schools were defendants.

          OR, you apparently agree with most of those who have posted comments that only in a much more specific case (i.e. the judge was already engaged, or tried for a marriage license and was denied) would this motion be valid. (And even then it would be debatable.)

          That would apply if the judge in this case had disclosed the relationship and gave further details. But no details on any engagement were given before the entry of judgment. Because of this, the parties were not privy to critical details which would allow them to make an informed judgment on whether to waive recusal.

          To go back to the public school example, let us assume that a school board for sued for sex discrimination, on the basis that a music program in one of its schools discriminates against girls on the basis of sex, and the case ends up before a judge who has a daughter attending the school and did not apply to the music program. The judge could disclose all the relevant facts, and the parties either waive recusal, or the judge denies a motion for recusal on the basis that the daughter had no involvement in the music program, and in this situation the parties had enough information to make an informed judgment. Or the judge can refuse to disclose that fact, which the parties learn nine months after the entry of judgment, and thus requiring vacatur under the Supreme Court’s precedent in Liljeberg v. Health Services Acquisition Corp., 486 U.S. 847 (1988), because the parties to the case did not have enough information to make an informed judgment on whether to seek recusal.

          Reply
          • 155. Ronnie  |  April 26, 2011 at 6:32 am

            If judges have to recuse themselves because they would benefit from the ruling then

            EVERY SINGLE judge that ruled in Loving v. Virginia would have had to recuse themselves because they all would or could have benefited from the ruling….

            THAT’S IT…….. PERIOD…….GET OVER IT !!!!!!!

            > I ……Ronnie

          • 156. fiona64  |  April 26, 2011 at 9:28 am

            Please stop pretending to have a legal education and/or a license to practice law.

          • 157. Michael Ejercito  |  April 26, 2011 at 10:26 am

            EVERY SINGLE judge that ruled in Loving v. Virginia would have had to recuse themselves because they all would or could have benefited from the ruling….

            Wrong.

            Earl Warren was from California, which did not have anti-miscegenation laws at the time.

          • 158. Ronnie  |  April 26, 2011 at 10:31 am

            I’ll repeat…simply because my statement is formed based on the statements from those who have actual training & are educated in law…..

            If judges have to recuse themselves because they would benefit from the ruling then

            EVERY SINGLE judge that ruled in Loving v. Virginia would have had to recuse themselves because they all would or could have benefited from the ruling….

            THAT’S IT…….. PERIOD…….GET OVER IT !!!!!!!

            > I ……Ronnie

          • 159. AB  |  April 26, 2011 at 11:14 am

            You ask “Is this too hard to understand? “. Yes, apparently it is… FOR YOU!

            In the first place, the Proponents are citing 28 USC 455 (a) and (b)(4). They are arguing that if there is any perception of bias, then there is bias. So, it doesn’t matter if the African-American judge is or knows someone who is closely associated with the “institution”, and it doesn’t matter if ALL public schools are the defendants, and it doesn’t matter if the impact is “immediate and direct.” In fact, the phrase “immediate and direct” never appears in 28 USC 455, nor in the brief, so I have no clue where you are getting that; you are just making things up at this point. And secondly, the logic in the brief is that Judge Walker is in a relationship so someday he could want to get married making him no different than the plaintiffs. In that case, any African-American who might experience discrimination, or any woman who might someday be harassed, would be no different than the plaintiffs, and thusly the same logic would eliminate any African-American or woman.

            Finally, your analysis would hold water with Liljeberg v. Health Services Acquisition Corp., 486 U.S. 847 (1988), but–unfortunately for you–your analysis does not appear anywhere in the brief. Cooper and Co. argues that the Judge might someday want to get married. In Liljeberg, the court holds that if a judge was not aware of a perception of bias then he or she cannot be held accountable. Judge Walker does not know if he will ever want to get married, and since that is the only condition under which Cooper and Co. argue that there would be a threat to partiality, then there can be no certainty–near the level required in Liljeberg–that there would ever be a conflict of interest. Additionally, in Liljeberg, part of the questioning of Judge Collins’ partiality stemmed from the fact that he had a financial stake (what you would, randomly, call “direct and immediate”) in the outcome of the case. Again, the brief does not say that a tangible stake was required to question partiality, but rather the possibility that there might be some chance somewhere down the line, in the future, where the judge had an experience similar to the plaintiffs in the case.

            I would really suggest reading the briefs and relevant materials before making ANY comments on here in the future. We all do, and we don’t appreciate snide comments that are based on no information and end up being little more than a waste of time.

          • 160. Rhie  |  April 27, 2011 at 1:04 am

            Wow, AB. That’s incredibly concise and just plain beautiful. Thank you for responding because I learned something :). Sadly, I doubt your original target will.

      • 161. AB  |  April 25, 2011 at 11:14 pm

        Now that I think about it:
        You say: “[T]he judge having a minor child attending THE school would” (emphasis added).

        Given this, your hypothetical is entirely non-responsive: according to Cooper & Co.’s logic, having a minor child at ANY public school would disqualify that particular judge. So, either you are making a different case than Cooper & Co., and are, thusly, off topic.
        OR, you apparently agree with most of those who have posted comments that only in a much more specific case (i.e. the judge was already engaged, or tried for a marriage license and was denied) would this motion be valid. (And even then it would be debatable.)

        Reply
      • 162. fiona64  |  April 26, 2011 at 9:26 am

        And you got your JD where, again?

        Reply
        • 163. AB  |  April 26, 2011 at 11:14 am

          Me?

          Reply
          • 164. Kathleen  |  April 26, 2011 at 11:30 am

            AB, I’m pretty sure that question was directed at Michael Ejercito.

          • 165. fiona64  |  April 26, 2011 at 12:45 pm

            Nope, Michael Ejercito. He comes in here pretending to be a lawyer every few months. In actuality, he is a failed real estate agent.

  • 166. Michael Ejercito  |  April 25, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    I have one question.

    Let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that persons in a polygamous union apply for a marriage license in Oklahoma, and are denied a license by a district court clerk. They file suit in federal court, alleging that Article I, Section 2 and Article 2, Section 35 of the Oklahoma Constitution violate the U.S. Constitution and asking for a writ of mandamus to compel the district court clerk to issue the marriage license. The judge in the case denies the plaintiffs’ claims, citing Reynolds v. the United States, 98 U.S. 145 (1878), and Davis v. Beason , 133 U.S. 333 (1890) as binding precedent compelling denial of the plaintiffs’ claims. Six months after the district court judgment, it is revealed that the judge was married to one of the legislative sponsors of Oklahoma’s Question 711, the ballot question that placed Article 2, Section 35 into the state constitution. Would the judge in that case have had a duty to disclose, if not recuse?

    If the answer is “no”, then there is no further ground for discussion.

    Reply
    • 167. Ronnie  |  April 25, 2011 at 10:09 pm

      Already answered in more ways then one….learn how to read….. 8 / …Ronnie

      Reply
    • 168. AB  |  April 25, 2011 at 10:58 pm

      If Justice Thomas does not have to recuse himself from deciding on a case which decided the validity of a law that his wife was a lobbyist for–or, benefited a company to whom he had close ties–then theoretically, no: that judge would need not recuse.
      In this way, you can see, there is clearly a practice of not recusing for spousal–or even personal–professional affiliations. This is principle has been at work in this very case when Judge Reinhart did not recuse.
      If you are right that the legislator’s spouse should recuse his or herself, then we would need to re-litigate a great number of cases.
      Furthermore, if you are right that no one should judge in a case that they, or their spouse, had a role in passing, then no single person who voted for Prop 8, or is married to someone who voted for Prop 8, could be a judge in this case. Since that person would be a private citizen, they should not have to watch how they vote because their spouse may or may not be professionally hampered. In fact, that would be an unconstitutional prohibition.
      Finally, your hypothetical is a non-sequitur. In the first place, a relationship is not the same as a professional activity; the former is a status and the latter is a single act. Secondly, the rules governing relationships are rules to which everyone is (theoretically) subject (that is precisely what this case is about). The rules governing activity of a select group of people in a specific profession are an entirely different ball of wax.

      Reply
      • 169. Michael Ejercito  |  April 26, 2011 at 2:41 am

        Furthermore, if you are right that no one should judge in a case that they, or their spouse, had a role in passing, then no single person who voted for Prop 8, or is married to someone who voted for Prop 8, could be a judge in this case. Since that person would be a private citizen, they should not have to watch how they vote because their spouse may or may not be professionally hampered.

        That is why I used the concrete examples of official proponents and legislative sponsors.

        Reply
        • 170. Ronnie  |  April 26, 2011 at 6:33 am

          Nope….. 8 / ….Ronnie

          Reply
        • 171. AB  |  April 26, 2011 at 11:19 am

          You used the concrete examples of official proponents and legislative sponsors in order to evade the argument, but you fail in that effort. Your argument that there is a distinction between voters on an initiative or referenda, and a legislative sponsor or proponent, is belied by the arguments that Cooper and Co. are making in CA SC about how legislators and the People who vote on a proposition are NO different. There is no way that both of those can be right, so either you lose this argument that everyone in California could be biased, and the decision should not be vacated. Or you lose the argument that the Proponents have standing because the initiative process does not give the people any particularized interest (i.e. the power to act on behalf of the state of California) that are necessary to establish standing.

          Reply
          • 172. Michael Ejercito  |  April 26, 2011 at 12:39 pm

            . Your argument that there is a distinction between voters on an initiative or referenda, and a legislative sponsor or proponent, is belied by the arguments that Cooper and Co. are making in CA SC about how legislators and the People who vote on a proposition are NO different.

            That was not their argument at all.

            Thety are not claiming that people who vote on a proposition have authority under state law; they are claiming that initiative proponents have that authority, which had implicitly recognized by the California Court of Appeal in Citizens for Jobs

          • 173. fiona64  |  April 26, 2011 at 1:20 pm

            Michael, please tell us where you attended law school.

    • 174. fiona64  |  April 26, 2011 at 9:29 am

      Let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that you stop pretending to be a lawyer and, likewise, cease bringing up specious arguments.

      Oh well, a girl can dream …

      Reply
  • 175. TomTallis  |  April 25, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Since we now know for sure that NOM is a Roman Catholic sponsored organization (thanks Jeremy!) I guess that means that the six Roman Catholic judges on the SCOTUS will have to recuse themselves…

    Reply
    • 176. chris from co  |  April 25, 2011 at 10:44 pm

      lol

      Reply
  • 177. Judy  |  April 25, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Does this mean we have to try O.J. Simpson all over again, too? Where does this stop?

    Reply
  • 178. AB  |  April 25, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    This particular move has disturbed me more than any of the other moves the pro-Prop 8’ers have made. (And that is saying a lot!) I think I finally understand why.

    I was thinking about it, and here is what the brief really says: if a judge is in a same-sex relationship, and might someday want to marry, then they should disclose that. But let’s assume that the person’s partner is closeted and that is why they don’t disclose. Perhaps their profession would be in jeopardy if they were outed. Or their relationships with their friends and family. It doesn’t really matter, they should control when they would be out of the closet; it is a very personal, private matter. And if they were in a loving relationship with that judge, and that judge came across a marriage equality case, by the principles of this brief, their private lives would be subject to public scrutiny.

    Or what if the judge was closeted? What happened to the right of privacy for a judge and his or her family? What if a judge came across a rape case, and she had a daughter who had been raped, or she had been raped herself? According to Cooper and Co., they would have absolutely no right to privacy in this most sensitive matter.

    I don’t like this. I don’t like this at all!

    Reply
    • 179. Sagesse  |  April 26, 2011 at 5:27 am

      What bothers me is this. The condition of potentially wanting or not wanting to be married (but not being able to) attaches itself to all LGBT residents of California (except for the 18,000 couples married in 2008). All LGBT residents of California have the option of entering into a domestic partnership. To argue that Walker’s long term relationship is grounds for recusal is exactly the same as saying he should recuse himself because he is gay.

      Reply
  • 180. Michael Ejercito  |  April 26, 2011 at 3:07 am

    I was thinking about it, and here is what the brief really says: if a judge is in a same-sex relationship, and might someday want to marry, then they should disclose that. But let’s assume that the person’s partner is closeted and that is why they don’t disclose. Perhaps their profession would be in jeopardy if they were outed. Or their relationships with their friends and family. It doesn’t really matter, they should control when they would be out of the closet; it is a very personal, private matter. And if they were in a loving relationship with that judge, and that judge came across a marriage equality case, by the principles of this brief, their private lives would be subject to public scrutiny.

    Or what if the judge was closeted? What happened to the right of privacy for a judge and his or her family? What if a judge came across a rape case, and she had a daughter who had been raped, or she had been raped herself? According to Cooper and Co., they would have absolutely no right to privacy in this most sensitive matter.

    I don’t like this. I don’t like this at all!

    Those are the rules.

    If a judge hears a class action fraud suit against the corporation and has a son who worked for the corporation at the time of the alleged fraud, he must disclose it, even though his son’s role in the corporation, however minor, is exposed to public scrutiny.

    Or if a judge hears a sex discrimination claim against a school board alleging that a school’s music program discriminates against girls, and the judge has a daughter attending the school, she must disclose, even though her daughter’s scholastic life would be exposed to public scrutiny.

    Reply
    • 181. Ronnie  |  April 26, 2011 at 6:37 am

      “Those are the rules.”

      Not necessarily ….please provide what law school you studied at to be qualified to make these irrelevant statements?

      : / ……Ronnie

      Reply
      • 182. Michael Ejercito  |  April 26, 2011 at 10:11 am

        “Those are the rules.”

        Not necessarily ….please provide what law school you studied at to be qualified to make these irrelevant statements?

        : / ……Ronnie

        Okay, let us say you are a victim of fraud, and you sue.

        If the judge’s son was an employee of the defendant, the judge has no duty to disclose?

        Reply
        • 183. Ronnie  |  April 26, 2011 at 10:14 am

          asked & answered…..please stop & please provide what law school you studied at to be qualified to make these irrelevant statements?

          : / ….Ronnie

          Reply
    • 184. AnonyGrl  |  April 26, 2011 at 6:56 am

      Wrong.

      If Judge Walker had a son who was gay and looking to get married, your objection MIGHT hold water. As it is, he doesn’t seem to have any closer ties to the issue than that he IS gay. That is not enough to ask him to recuse himself.

      Once again, we would not say that a woman judge should automatically be removed from a case about abortion, or that a Catholic judge should not rule on a divorce.

      Reply
      • 185. Michael Ejercito  |  April 26, 2011 at 10:18 am

        If Judge Walker had a son who was gay and looking to get married, your objection MIGHT hold water. As it is, he doesn’t seem to have any closer ties to the issue than that he IS gay. That is not enough to ask him to recuse himself.

        There is more than that, and you know it.

        Judge Walker was in a ten-year-long committed relationship.

        the simple fact that Judge Walker is gay has NO bearing on his ruling.

        Which is not the argument being made.

        There is NO evidence to support the idea that he was ruling in a biased fashion, and his own personal sexuality has nothing to do with anything.

        Aside from his procedural rulings regardsing discovery and broadcasting, which resulted in an extraordinary writ by the Ninth Circuit and a stay order issued by the Supreme Court?

        Aside from his broad injunction prohibiting all officials from enforcing Proposition 8 with respect to anyone, despite the fact that plaintiffs were not a class and plaintiffs did not seek classwide certification?

        Aside from his refusal to stay his ruling, which resulted in the Ninth Circuit staying his ruling?

        Again, equivalently, if a woman judge were newly pregnant and presiding over an abortion case, would you require that she disclose her pregnancy? How is it anyone’s business? She can still be impartial.

        It would her anyone’s business if she stood to immediately and directly benefit from the ruling. Certainly she can not issue an injunction enjoining the enforcement of an abortion law with respect to her.

        Reply
        • 186. Ronnie  |  April 26, 2011 at 10:24 am

          Therefore Loving v. Virginia should be tossed out because every single judge that ruled on it were capable of benefiting from the ruling which now legalized the option for them to get married with in an interracial relationship…..

          Keep trolling with your irrelevant & repeatedly debunked & uneducated bullshite….. > / ….Ronnie

          Reply
          • 187. Michael Ejercito  |  April 26, 2011 at 11:04 am

            Therefore Loving v. Virginia should be tossed out because every single judge that ruled on it were capable of benefiting from the ruling which now legalized the option for them to get married with in an interracial relationship…..

            At the time Loving was decided, anti-miscegenation laws were in effect only in sixteen states.

          • 188. Ronnie  |  April 26, 2011 at 11:14 am

            I’ll repeat…..

            Therefore Loving v. Virginia should be tossed out because every single judge that ruled on it were capable of benefiting from the ruling which now legalized the option for them to get married with in an interracial relationship…..

            Nice try troll…..keep repeating your bull to yourself & maybe that BA in Finance will magically turn into a law degree by the grace of lord & savior, Monkey Bones……

            8 / ….Ronnie

      • 189. Michael Ejercito  |  April 26, 2011 at 10:19 am

        Catholic judge should not rule on a divorce.

        A Catholic judge should not rule on his own divorce.

        Reply
        • 190. Ronnie  |  April 26, 2011 at 10:25 am

          No shite Sherlock…learn how to read before you post irrelevant bull…. > / ….Ronnie

          Reply
          • 191. Leslie in Concord CA  |  April 26, 2011 at 11:20 am

            Scrolling through these comments, I see Michael making civil if perhaps not fully informed or sensible arguments, and Ronnie being consistently rude. Perhaps Ronnie could shut up or be civil also?

    • 192. AB  |  April 26, 2011 at 11:24 am

      “Those are the rules.”
      Really? What rule? Seriously, what case, what USC provision tells us that there is no right to privacy for a judge and his or her family.

      Just saying “those are the rules” doesn’t make it so. You aren’t doing a Jedi mind trick here.

      Also, you say “…has a daughter attending the school…”. But what Cooper and Co. say is that if the judge might be in a situation similar to the Plaintiffs, then the judge is biased. So the correct statement is that if a judge has a daughter attending ANY SUCH school, then the judge would be biased. And, even you recognize, that is a bridge too far. Again, please read the briefs.

      Reply
    • 193. fiona64  |  April 26, 2011 at 12:41 pm

      Please disclose the name of the institution from which you received a JD.

      Oh, wait …

      Reply
  • 194. Phil L  |  April 26, 2011 at 4:23 am

    Just out of curiosity, what kind of judge do these people think should have presided over the case? You can find bias in ANY background if you really wanted to.

    Straight male/female non-religious judge = biased because he/she is straight.

    Straight male/female religious judge = biased because he/she is straight and religious.

    Reply
    • 195. Phil L  |  April 26, 2011 at 4:25 am

      To add to what I asked; what about Judge Walker’s previous track record for ruling against the LGBT community? Wouldn’t that more or less show that his sexuality doesn’t necessarily mean that he is biased? His rulings were never vacated on other cases were they?

      Reply
      • 196. Steve  |  April 26, 2011 at 4:35 am

        In fact the Democrats held up his appointment as judge at one point because of those decisions.

        Besides, it wasn’t exactly a secret that he is a gay. He didn’t say it, but people pretty much knew.

        Reply
    • 197. Michael Ejercito  |  April 26, 2011 at 10:23 am

      Just out of curiosity, what kind of judge do these people think should have presided over the case?

      A judge residing in Nevada.

      Reply
      • 198. Ronnie  |  April 26, 2011 at 10:27 am

        (rolls eyes)….. 8 / …..Ronnie

        Reply
      • 199. fiona64  |  April 26, 2011 at 12:42 pm

        I’m guessing “Close Cover Whilst Striking Law School”

        Reply
      • 200. AnonyGrl  |  April 26, 2011 at 1:16 pm

        Just out of curiosity, what kind of judge do these people think should have presided over the case?

        A judge residing in Nevada.

        What? How would that make a LICK of difference? If Judge Walker lived in Nevada, you would be OK with him ruling on this case?

        OK, there MIchael. You do realize that California has no residency requirements for marriage, so living in Nevada would not change anything, right?

        Or are you somehow thinking that Nevada laws require that residents be straight?

        Either way, that makes even less sense than you ususally make, so I am going to guess that you were intending that answer as a joke.

        Do you have a REAL answer to the question? Who should be allowed to rule on this case?

        Reply
    • 201. CaliGirl  |  April 26, 2011 at 10:33 am

      Couldn’t have said it better myself, Phil.

      It’s a real dangerous slippery slope they’re walking on.

      Reply
    • 202. AB  |  April 26, 2011 at 11:25 am

      Quite right Phil. And Cooper and Co. are saying that if there is any perception of bias–evidence be damned–then there is bias. And so you wouldn’t really need to find bias in ANY background, you would just need to find something that one person might THINK is biased. It is an even less stable burden.

      Reply
    • 203. Rhie  |  April 27, 2011 at 12:33 am

      Exactly. Which is why the actual rules regarding recusal and disclosure are far stricter.

      A person who would monetarily benefit from a case involving ACME oil would have an obligation to not rule on that particular case but not necessarily every case involving ACME oil. A person who bought gas at a place owned by ACME oil would not even have to disclose that.

      A person who is the partner of a named plaintiff in the Perry case would have an an obligation to remove themselves from that case but not every case involving marriage rights. A person who just has a gay partner doesn’t even have to disclose that.

      So simple and yet some people find it difficult to understand.

      Reply
  • 204. Sagesse  |  April 26, 2011 at 4:24 am

    Judge’s gay partner raised in Proposition 8 case

    “Without more evidence that Walker stood to personally benefit if same-sex marriages were legal in California, the Proposition 8 defense team’s raising of his relationship is likely to fail or could even backfire, Geyh said.

    “It really implies it would be fine if he were essentially surfing at bars and had a new partner every night because he wouldn’t want to be married,” he said. “I don’t see that as advancing their cause.”

    Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/news/2011/04/ap-exclusive-judges-partner-cited-prop-8-case#ixzz1KcxCGJYL

    Reply
  • 205. Jeff  |  April 26, 2011 at 6:20 am

    If the Prop 8 supporters took the time to read Judge Walker’s opinion, they would find a well-argued case for why Prop 8 is unconstitutional. Walker’s opinion consisted of logical statements backed by reason and legal precedent. I don’t recall any part of Walker’s opinion that said, “I’m gay, therefore the constitution requires marriage equality.”

    In other words, Walker’s orientation is irrelevant to the logical, reasoned case for marriage equality.

    Nice try, though.

    Reply
    • 206. Menergy  |  April 26, 2011 at 6:54 am

      Exactlhy! Although I seriously doubt the proponents’ side reads logically…..

      Reply
      • 207. Menergy  |  April 26, 2011 at 6:54 am

        “exactly” that is….

        Reply
    • 208. Ed Cortes  |  April 26, 2011 at 7:12 am

      They can actually read and comprehend?? I think it’s the comprehension part that’s lacking, at least…

      Reply
  • 209. AnonyGrl  |  April 26, 2011 at 7:17 am

    General question…

    Given that this was a huge mistake, and will likely piss off judges everywhere, can the proponents, if they so choose, withdraw this motion and would it, if they did, be stricken from the record? Obviously they won’t, but could they if they wanted to? I am just curious how the system works…

    Reply
    • 210. Kathleen  |  April 26, 2011 at 7:32 am

      Don’t know the answer for sure, but would guess that they can withdraw the motion, but the motion and the fact that they filed it would remain part of the record. But I can’t believe they didn’t think about the pros and cons (from their perspective) of bringing up this issue before they decided to file the motion.

      Reply
      • 211. AnonyGrl  |  April 26, 2011 at 7:42 am

        I certainly looks like they did a poor job of considering the cons… unless they have decided that they are abandoning any hope of winning this case entirely in the courts and turning to public opinion as their only recourse.

        Which may well be where they are going. Prop 8 is pretty much a losing battle for them at this point, and is possible that they’ve decided to concentrate efforts elsewhere, but are using this as a way to show their supporters that they are trying, and to raise more money.

        I can’t honestly see any other sense in it at all.

        Reply
        • 212. Kate  |  April 26, 2011 at 8:32 am

          I think it’s yet another stall tactic. Having had to evict non-paying renters a few years ago, I learned the hard way that the courts bend over backwards for the “defendants.” I had to win against them in court in a very cut-and-dried case FOUR TIMES before the court finally made them quit filing this sort of delay thing. That’s all the proponents have going for them to do, too.

          Reply
      • 213. Rhie  |  April 27, 2011 at 12:43 am

        Heh, well, these are the same people who honestly think they don’t actually need facts or evidence to back up their claims about marriage. IIRC, they actually said so in court.

        Reply
  • 214. JC (one of the CA 18,000)  |  April 26, 2011 at 8:25 am

    It just occurred to me and my wife this morning, after our coffee, that this filing shoots one of the Prop 8 proponents’ underlying assumptions in the foot (or maybe head?). Let’s see if I’m awake enough to explain.
    1. The Prop 8 folks argue that they have standing to appeal because they are impacted (somehow–no one is sure how) by us getting married. Olsen & Boies argue eloquently why they are not.
    2. The Prop 8 folks argue that Judge Walker is biased because he would/could benefit from the decision.
    3. Therefore, aren’t they implying that a straight judge would be impartial because s/he has no dog in the hunt? That there is NO IMPACT on a straight person if the gays are allowed to marry?
    Whatcha think?

    Reply
    • 215. Judy  |  April 26, 2011 at 8:56 am

      Yes, I see. They are suggesting a straight judge would have nothing to gain or lose. So, if there’s nothing to lose, then where does that leave their claim that gay marriage is a bad thing to straight society… I get it. Their argument insists that a straight judge would be biased as proven by their very argument that straights would be harmed. So, neither gay nor straight can be a judge in this case.

      Clever.

      Reply
    • 216. Rachel H.  |  April 26, 2011 at 9:14 am

      JC, that’s brilliant!!!!!!

      I’d love it if the new presiding judge were to ask them about that.

      Rachel

      Reply
    • 217. gaydadtobe  |  April 26, 2011 at 10:09 am

      I like it a lot!

      Reply
    • 218. CaliGirl  |  April 26, 2011 at 10:36 am

      Hahaha, I like it. :)

      Reply
  • 219. JoeRH  |  April 26, 2011 at 8:34 am

    I don’t think it’s right to suggest a gay judge can’t judge gay-related cases, but if the arguments in that complaint are valid (as far as what they’re referencing), I’m afraid that they have a valid argument. Some things that bother me are that he didn’t disclose his orientation prior to the trial or during it, which does seem like it could be a little shady. Also, he doesn’t say whether or not he plans to take advantage of the right to marry if we win. I just feel that there was a good deal of dishonesty. I can see the idea of a pro-life judge not being able to preside over a pro-abortion trial as being unfair. I guess the judge wouldn’t have to disclose her personal views. I don’t know. I just can’t tell if their argument is valid because of what they reference as evidence of the situation being the way they accuse it of being. Does anyone else fear that this is a valid argument?

    Reply
    • 220. JoeRH  |  April 26, 2011 at 8:35 am

      More comments: Does anyone think that a gay judge who is presiding over a gay bashing lawsuit would be less “extreme” than this one is coming off as?

      Reply
      • 221. Michael Ejercito  |  April 26, 2011 at 10:21 am

        More comments: Does anyone think that a gay judge who is presiding over a gay bashing lawsuit would be less “extreme” than this one is coming off as?

        It would be less extreme.

        Of course, we can all agree that, while a gay judge is not necessarily disqualified from hearing a gay bashing lawsuit, he is most certainly disqualified if his partner were the victim.

        Reply
        • 222. Ronnie  |  April 26, 2011 at 10:27 am

          Irrelevant…. 8 / ….Ronnie

          Reply
        • 223. AB  |  April 26, 2011 at 11:29 am

          Again, according to Cooper and Co. it would not be “if his partner were THE victim” and would rather be “if his partner were A victim.” Cooper and Co. aren’t arguing that Judge Walker wanted to marry one of the defendants. They are arguing that in the future he could want to marry someone else, putting him in a similar position to the plaintiffs. So in order for a plaintiff to be in a similar position to a person who was the victim of a gay bashing, all they would need would be to know someone who had been the victim of some other incident of gay bashing. Why are you having trouble with this concept Michael?

          Reply
          • 224. Michael Ejercito  |  April 26, 2011 at 12:00 pm

            Cooper and Co. aren’t arguing that Judge Walker wanted to marry one of the defendants. They are arguing that in the future he could want to marry someone else, putting him in a similar position to the plaintiffs.

            The problem is, that the plaintiffs sought to enjoin all enforcement of Proposition 8, an injunction for which they did not have standing to seek. Under the terms of the injunction issued by Walker, any county clerk would be required to issue a marriage license to Walker and his partner.

          • 225. Ronnie  |  April 26, 2011 at 12:04 pm

            Oh for crying out loud……Therefore, any county clerk would have to issue a marriage license to a judge that ruled on it in a possible future interracial relationship…. > I …Ronnie

          • 226. fiona64  |  April 26, 2011 at 12:47 pm

            Michael, in which state did you pass the bar exam?

          • 227. AB  |  April 26, 2011 at 9:45 pm

            Your response is entirely non-responsive.

    • 228. AnonyGrl  |  April 26, 2011 at 9:01 am

      No, actually, I don’t.

      Again, equivalently, if a woman judge were newly pregnant and presiding over an abortion case, would you require that she disclose her pregnancy? How is it anyone’s business? She can still be impartial.

      She might, sometime in the future, consider abortion. Does that mean we should automatically assume she is biased?

      A Catholic judge might be presiding over a case involving divorce. If he did not mention ahead of time that he is Catholic, should that be held against him? Do we jump to the conclusion that ALL Catholics MUST feel a certain way about divorce?

      He might, at some future date, decide to divorce his wife. Do we have to think that this makes his past rulings suspect?

      the simple fact that Judge Walker is gay has NO bearing on his ruling. If he DOES decide to marry at some point in the future, well, I say, good for him. But he clearly and patently ruled on the FACTS of this case, as reading the record makes painfully clear. There is NO evidence to support the idea that he was ruling in a biased fashion, and his own personal sexuality has nothing to do with anything.

      Not a valid argument.

      Reply
    • 229. John B.  |  April 26, 2011 at 10:51 am

      I would tend to agree they might have a point, except for one little thing: Judge Walker and his partner could have gotten married in California when it was legally possible to do so, and for whatever reason they chose not to. Moreover, there are several states plus the District of Columbia where they could go RIGHT NOW to get married. So unless somebody can show that they had major wedding plans that they had to put off because of Prop. 8, I think this move is just an act of desperation.

      Reply
    • 230. Rhie  |  April 27, 2011 at 12:52 am

      1. There is nothing valid in the motion at all.
      2. He had no obligation to disclose it because it is not at all relevant. Would you think it shady if a heterosexual judge didn’t disclose that in a case about heterosexual marriage? No? Same applies here.
      3. Whether or not he gets married in CA down the road is irrelevant. That’s not how recusal guidelines actually work.
      4. There is no dishonesty here except on the part of the plaintiffs.
      5. A pro-life judge could rule on an abortion case perfectly fairly. The only reasons why not would be if they owned the building a crisis (pro-life) pregnancy center was in, and they would have a real chance of being harmed financially by a ruling in that particular.
      6. No, a judge does not have to disclose personal views on anything, ever.
      7. The plaintiffs haven’t ever made a valid argument in this case, even by accident. Seriously. Read the court docs and you will see there is nothing to fear.
      8. This judge is not at all extreme. I encourage you to read the actual ruling and the court transcripts. It becomes very clear, very quickly that he’s logical and rational.
      9. The only way a judge would be irrational in a gay bashing case is if they actually accepted the gay panic defense. Not even a TEXAS judge does that and it’s still technically a legal defense there.

      Reply
      • 231. Kathleen  |  April 27, 2011 at 7:21 am

        I’m pretty sure you meant “proponents” where you said “plaintiffs” above.

        Reply
        • 232. Rhie  |  April 27, 2011 at 10:22 am

          Yes, yes I did. Thank you!

          The PLAINTIFFS have made all kinds of rational, logical arguments through this. The PROPONENTS have not.

          Reply
  • 233. JoeRH  |  April 26, 2011 at 8:38 am

    Clarification: Basically, I’m wondering if the two situations are equal.

    Reply
  • 234. Eric  |  April 26, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Since Prop 8 impacts straight marriages and single gays, the Proponents would have to agree that only a judge already in a SSM would be unbiased.

    I’m wondering if Walker has a California confidential marriage…wouldn’t that make the proponents look stupid.

    Reply
    • 235. Michael Ejercito  |  April 26, 2011 at 11:09 am

      I’m wondering if Walker has a California confidential marriage…wouldn’t that make the proponents look stupid.

      No, because Walker still had a duty to disclose.

      Reply
      • 236. Ronnie  |  April 26, 2011 at 11:15 am

        No….. 8 / ….Ronnie

        Reply
      • 237. Eric  |  April 26, 2011 at 12:07 pm

        You like to dig up and cite cases, could you please cite at least one divorce case where the judge disclosed a prior divorce or adultery? Or how about a prior traffic ticket?

        Reply
      • 238. Maggie4NoH8  |  April 26, 2011 at 12:08 pm

        Would a straight judge, in a heterosexual relationship of 10 years be required to disclose?

        Would a straight judge, in a heterosexual marriage, be required to disclose?

        Reply
        • 239. Michael Ejercito  |  April 26, 2011 at 1:15 pm

          Would a straight judge, in a heterosexual relationship of 10 years be required to disclose?

          Would a straight judge, in a heterosexual marriage, be required to disclose?

          He has a duty to disclose if the nature of his relationship would reasonably call into question his impartiality.

          Reply
          • 240. Ronnie  |  April 26, 2011 at 1:17 pm

            No he doesn’t…..as has already been stated…… 8 / ….Ronnie

          • 241. AnonyGrl  |  April 26, 2011 at 1:20 pm

            According to the proponents, straight marriage is threatened by marriage equality, so I guess the answer is YES, the straight judge WOULD be required to disclose any relationship status at all. Because, after all, even if he were single, he MIGHT want to marry some day, and since the institution of marriage would be destroyed, we need to know.

            Oy.

            But then… if he did… what do you think the chances are that he would be asked to recuse himself?

          • 242. Michael Ejercito  |  April 26, 2011 at 6:24 pm

            No he doesn’t…..as has already been stated…… 8 / ….Ronnie

            455 (a) Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States
            shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his
            impartiality might reasonably be questioned.

            455 (e) No justice, judge, or magistrate judge shall accept from the
            parties to the proceeding a waiver of any ground for
            disqualification enumerated in subsection (b). Where the ground for
            disqualification arises only under subsection (a), waiver may be
            accepted provided it is preceded by a full disclosure on the record
            of the basis for disqualification.

            Subsection (a), the provision at issue here, was an entirely new “catchall” recusal provision, covering both “interest or relationship” and “bias or prejudice” grounds, see Liljeberg v. Health Services Acquisition Corp., 486 U. S. 847 (1988)but requiring them all to be evaluated on an objective basis, so that what matters is not the reality of bias or prejudice but its appearance. Quite simply and quite universally, recusal was required whenever “impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” Liteky v. United States, 510 U.S. 540 at 548

            The goal of section 455(a) is to avoid even the appearance of partiality. Liljeberg v. Health Services Acquisition Corp. , 486 U.S. 847 at 860

            Section 455(a) “covers circumstances that
            appear
            tocreate a conflict of interest, whether or not there is actual bias” Herrington v. Sonoma County
            , 834 F.2d 1488, 1502 (9th Cir. 1987)

          • 243. Ronnie  |  April 26, 2011 at 6:37 pm

            No he doesn’t…..as has already been stated……

            There is no impartiality that can b equestioned…he is a judge…his education in law is real…your’s is not….he did his job…& you are proving more & more to be a homophobic bigot (not ignoring the homophobic epithet you posted 3 times yesterday within minutes of each other just hours after your holy day)

            Go away TROLL…… 8 / ….Ronnie

          • 244. Ronnie  |  April 26, 2011 at 6:42 pm

            Oh…wait….. that’s right…… anti-gay people can do & say whatever they want no matter how repugnant, offensive, & inhuman it is as long as it is done in the name of “God”…..

            > I ….Ronnie

          • 245. Ronnie  |  April 26, 2011 at 7:15 pm

            From now on EVERY SINGLE judge has to disclose whether they are anti-LGBT or pro-LGBT or they cannot oversee a trial in which the parties involved are LGBT because there is no way that they can remain impartial or rule based on their personal biases…..oh wait…. 8 / …..Ronnie

          • 246. Michael Ejercito  |  April 26, 2011 at 9:12 pm

            There is no impartiality that can b equestioned…he is a judge…his education in law is real

            I have already given the example of a sex discrimination case against a school that is before a judge whose daughter attends the school. Her daughter’s attendance could be grounds for recusal, which is why she would have to disclose.

          • 247. Ronnie  |  April 26, 2011 at 9:16 pm

            & you have already been told that you are wrong…ON EVERYTHING….learn hot to read.

            Where did you get your law degree?…… : / ….Ronnie

          • 248. Ronnie  |  April 26, 2011 at 9:17 pm

            how to read….. 8 / ….Ronnie

          • 249. Ronnie  |  April 26, 2011 at 9:26 pm

            Did your parents teach you any manners, meaning when someone asks you a question you answer it? Or were you raised by a pack of rabid wolves?

            ; ) ….Ronnie:

            P.S…..Hint: proper etiquette is that you answer a question with an answer…NOT a question…nor do you answer with irrelevant bull that skirts the question that was asked.

          • 250. Michael Ejercito  |  April 27, 2011 at 9:12 am

            There is no impartiality that can b equestioned…he is a judge…his education in law is real

            Yeah.

            Ed Whelan’s education in law was real.

            Jack Marshall’s education in law was real

          • 251. Ronnie  |  April 27, 2011 at 9:16 am

            But your’s is not…answer the questions directly…. 8 / …Ronnie

          • 252. fiona64  |  April 27, 2011 at 9:17 am

            Michael, I find it highly ironic that a person with *no* legal education is commenting on whether or not others have legal education.

            Why don’t you just get lost? Seriously.

        • 253. Steve  |  April 26, 2011 at 6:16 pm

          Clearly only an asexual judge is fit to make a ruling

          Reply
  • 254. Elf  |  April 26, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    “Only if Chief Judge Walker had unequivocally disavowed any interest in marrying his partner could the parties and the public be confident that he did not have a direct personal interest in the outcome of the case,”

    Or if he were already married to his partner, in which case, the ruling wouldn’t affect him at all. They could have a confidential marriage”>–one of the differences between civil unions and real marriages–and there’d be no public record of it. If he’s already married, then obviously it doesn’t benefit him personally to allow or disallow other marriages.

    However, a judge married to a person of the opposite sex might have to recuse him or herself, on the grounds that allowing same-sex marriages might harm the community understanding of marriage and thus lower the judge’s social status. (That was part of what the Prop 8’ers were claiming, wasn’t it?)

    Reply
  • 255. Sagesse  |  April 27, 2011 at 4:46 am

    Judge Walker’s other legacy.

    New proposal for cameras in federal courtrooms

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/04/26/BAKI1J7OAS.DTL&tsp=1

    Reply
  • 256. Sagesse  |  April 27, 2011 at 5:01 am

    Odd but fascinating ramble.

    DOMA wars – Clement quits firm as Prop8 Judge’s integrity is questioned

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/04/26/970246/-DOMA-warsClement-quits-firm-as-Prop8-Judges-integrity-is-questioned

    Reply
  • 257. JeffreyRO5  |  April 27, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    The best thing about this is the Prop 8 defense team is in the awkward position of now saying that there is a tangible difference between California’s domestic partnership law, and marriage: marriage provides a tangible improvement over domestic partnership!

    In other words, of course gay couples would be better off with marriage rights, including the word, “marriage,” and we think Judge Walker wants those rights for himself.

    When hate-filled people get desperate, look out, it gets really weird!

    Reply

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