Judge Vaughn Walker is in the news again, and it’s not a pretty sight for those who care about the rule of law and judicial process.
First, Judge Walker gives an interview in which he acknowledges he’s been in a ten-year partnership with a man. No less a legal scholar than John Eastman, former dean of Chapman University School of Law, argues that this heretofore undisclosed relationship grave consequences for Walker’s ruling overturning Prop 8.
Eastman writes: “Walker’s admission requires that his decision in the case be vacated. He is either a direct beneficiary of his ruling in the case, or a person with a close-enough personal interest in the case that his impartiality might reasonably have been questioned if the required disclosures had been made.”
Here’s a question no one has publicly asked yet: Is Judge Walker married to his partner under California law? Are they in a domestic partnership? Judge Walker has never directly answered this question—and California permits “confidential marriage licenses” so the public would not necessarily have any way to know. Continue reading
Unfortunately, no one didn’t see this coming. The Obama department of Justice (that has insisted on giving 9/11 terrorists the rights of US citizens, has been attacking Arizona for trying to defend their border, and has bent our constitution all directions to defend Obamacare in court) announced today that they will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) from lawsuits by liberal organizations bent on destroying marriage; Despite the fact, of course, that DOMA was enacted by congress as law and the DOJ’s job is to enforce federal law.
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration says it will no longer defend the constitutionality of a federal law that bans recognition of same-sex marriage.
In a statement Wednesday, Attorney General Eric Holder says President Obama has concluded that the administration can no longer defend the federal law that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman.
The Justice Department had defended the Defense of Marriage Act in court until now.
Where did our state and federal officials get this funny idea that they can pick and choose which laws and what parts of the constitution they want to enforce and defend? What is the point of a democracy where a measure passed by a wide majority of the people (Prop 8 in California) or of their elected officials (DOMA) is struck down by unelected judges who don’t like it and left defenseless by attorney generals (Jerry Brown and Eric Holder) who refuse to do their job and defend the people they are supposed to represent?
These are all signs of a democracy in real trouble, with autocratic-minded government and apathetic citizens who don’t value their freedom.
Attorneys General from 13 other states had to step in and file briefs last Fridaywith the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to defend California's Prop 8 because current CA Attorney General Jerry Brown refused to do his job and give legal defense to the state. On the contrary, he is fighting to overturn the people's vote. This career politician wants a shot at being Governor again?
Last Friday, some twenty-five amicus briefs – representing nearly 100 individuals and organizations — were filed at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in defense of Prop 8! One of the many highlights from Friday’s filings was a brief filed by thirteen state attorneys general — led by Greg Zoeller of Indiana, Ken Cuccinelli of Virginia, Michael Cox of Michigan and James Caldwell of Louisiana — making the case for Prop 8 that California AG Jerry Brown has refused to make. The brief is an outstanding explanation of why we have laws governing marriage (“responsible procreation”), and why Judge Walker’s view of marriage is simply incoherent. Read it here . . . then click here to send a short email thanking these courageous officials for standing up for marriage!
The National Organization for Marriage filed a terrific brief, laying out the purpose of marriage laws and the harm which will result if the courts redefine marriage to include same-sex couples. You can read some of the key excerpts here, or click here to read the entire brief.
The Prop 8 legal defense team has filed their opening brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case, and it is a tour de force.
Authored by chief Prop 8 litigator Chuck Cooper, the 100+ page brief shreds the decision of federal district court Judge Vaughn Walker, and lays bare all the legal, logical, and factual errors that Walker made in his ruling. Read it here.
Citing case after case from court after court, Cooper thoroughly and meticulously dismantles Walker’s outrageous opinion finding that voters have no right to protect marriage as one man and one woman. As noted legal commentator Ed Whelan has pointed out, the alleged “Dream Team” of Olson and Boies have lost in every court they have argued this case–with the sole exception of the rogue Judge Vaughn Walker. Judge Walker ignored mountains of evidence–from binding Supreme Court precedent, to at least 9 other state and federal court precedents, along with the conclusions of academic research and eminent scholars, and even common sense–to reach his radical conclusion.
“This is not a hard question,” Cooper writes. “Indeed, because of the distinguishing procreative characteristics of heterosexual relationships, until quite recently ‘it was accepted truth for almost everyone who ever lived, in any society in which marriage existed, that there could be marriage only between participants of different sex.’ And marriage has existed in virtually all societies, from the ancients to the American states, because it serves a vital and universal societal purpose – a purpose, indeed, that makes marriage, as the Supreme Court has repeatedly emphasized, ‘fundamental to the very existence and survival of the [human] race.’” Continue reading
Three judges on the Iowa Supreme Court may lose their job for legalizing gay marriage in a ruling last April, despite overwhelming voter disapproval. This November, Iowans will have the choice on whether to retain or dismiss Judges David L. Baker, Michael J. Streit, Marsha Ternus. It is expected that voters will not look kindly on those activist judges for going over the people’s heads.
Too bad Californians don’t get to vote on Judge Vaughn Walker.
While judges and politicians struggle to give Californians gay marriage “whether they like it or not,” Americans are overwhelmingly not in favor of it. In the latest poll from Public Policy Polling conducted Aug. 6-9, Americans opposed gay marriage almost 2-to-1 — 57 percent opposed, 33 percent in favor.
Ed Whelan made one of the most trenchant points I’ve seen anyone make about the significance of the Ninth Circuit’s decision to stay Walker’s ruling:
“Walker’s reversals also call into question the judgment of the supposed dream team of plaintiffs’ lawyers, Ted Olson and David Boies,” writes Whelan over at Bench Memos. “…[D]espite their massive advantage in resources, Olson and Boies have lost to Cooper and his team on every issue that has been decided by any court other than Walker’s.” Continue reading