Not until the end of the article reporting (something of which I had heretofore been aware) that Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, “the federal judge who will decide . . . the landmark trial over same-sex marriage” is himself gay, does the reporter see fit to quote anyone critical of the judge. Instead, he first cites two left-wing gay activists praising the judge.
Now, I know very little about the judge, certainly not enough to call his overall impartiality into question–though the way he has conducted this trial certainly sets off some alarm bells. It strikes me as odd that he has allowed the plaintiffs to bring in certain witnesses whose commentary on gay marriage would certainly be relevant were the issue debated in the legislature or presented to the people, but is entirely irrelevant to a court considering whether a popular provision in the state constitution violates the federal constitution.
All reports (at least those I have read), for example, show that Jerry Sanders is a fine Mayor of San Diego, but he is no legal scholar. His remarks on gay marriage belong in a political campaign, not a court of law. That Judge Walker allowed his testimony as well as other personal stories suggests poor judging. But, many straight judges would also allow in such “witnesses.”
As a gay man who believes the Judge should have dismissed the case before it even came to trial, I know it’s not his sexuality that’s the issue, but his jurisprudence.* All that said, should this one man rule to overturn the will of seven million, you can bet the proponent of the Proposition will make an issue of his sexuality. Indeed, some already are. Ed Whelan, offering some sound criticism of the judge’s questionable judgments, point outs: [Read more…]