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Prop 8 Proponents Try to Vacate Judge Walker’s Ruling

On April 6, 2011, two months after his retirement from the bench, Judge Vaughn Walker tells a group of reporters that he is gay and in a long-term relationship, adding that he never considered recusing himself from the case because of his sexuality.  Later that month, on April 25, the Prop 8 proponents file a motion in district court with Judge James Ware, who took over the case after Judge Walker’s retirement, seeking to vacate Walker’s decision on the grounds of his sexual orientation.

In their district court brief, the proponents write, “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.”  Legal observers point out that the argument against Judge Walker is a slippery slope, since the American legal system is based on an expectation that judges will decide their cases impartially, regardless of their sex, race or sexual orientation.

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