Thursday, August 05, 2010

Prop. 8 blasted by federal judge in California

And he was a George H. W. Bush appointee, so does that make him an activist judge? The 136-page ruling from U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker was meticulous and harsh in its findings:

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Of course, though, the whole thing will appealed in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and then (almost certainly) have an attempt to be appealed in front of the US Supreme Court. Still, though, a good day for equal rights in the US, methinks.

UPDATE: In an interesting twist, Andrew Sullivan muses on a commentary about whether Judge Walker should have recused himself in this case, because he is gay:

So Bradley wants to raise the issue of Walker's alleged bias - without substantiating any claims to it - while not raising it. Leave this particular piece of passive aggression aside - and you find that the logical conclusion of preventing gay judges from adjudicating on questions to do with gay rights would be removing all gay people from the discussion. Every gay person might one day fall in love and want to get married. Some may choose not to (should they recuse themselves too?); some may believe it violates their faith (ditto); others may already be in such marriages in one of five states (ditto plus plus). Similarly, since we are debating the alleged superiority of heterosexual sexual orientation here, is not heterosexuality by the same reasoning also a conflict of interest? Or are gay rights only legitimate when they are supported by straight people?

And here's something that really does pose a dilemma for a free and fair society. On this issue, there is scarcely any opposition in the gay community. Yes, there are some debates about the role of courts, and strategy. But I know of almost no gay people who would disagree with the core arguments that Judge Walker elaborated upon. And so we really do get an almost exquisite example of a majority deciding the fate of an issue where the minority is united and clear. When Newt Gingrich speaks of the views of "the American people", he means heterosexuals.

That is also a conversation worth having.

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