8 balls

Why You Should Assume Judge Vaughn Walker Will Strike Down Prop 8


As a courtesy to counsel involved in major media-scrutinized cases, judges will often provide an early draft of their opinion to both parties, so they know how to prepare for the outcome. Judge Vaughn Walker, who will release his decision later today, has a record of doing this. So it’s quite the foreshadowing to note the defendants at Protect Marriage have already filed a motion to stay the ruling pending appeal.

Walker’s ruling won’t simply be a Yes or No answer. He’ll lay out a few major points, including whether gays and lesbians qualify as a protected minority, and as such Walker would treat the case with strict scrutiny; whether Prop 8’s restriction of marriage to one man and one woman is reasonable; and whether anyone is fundamentally entitled to get married. Any one of these three core issues could invalidate Prop 8.

And you can expect Walker to at least strike down the notion that marriage is the exclusive territory of heterosexuals: “[W]hat other media sources and blogs either do not know or won’t relate: the lead attorneys for the respective sides likely got courtesy copies from the court of Judge Walker’s draft opinion around 2 or 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon,” explains bmaz at FDL “As a courtesy on really big opinions, so as to give counsel a chance to prepare appropriately for media response and/or immediate motions that need to be filed, courts occasionally give lead counsel on each side their draft opinion slightly ahead of public filing and release, but do so with a strict gag order so no one ever knows this happens. This is something that Vaughn Walker has, from experience, a track record for doing, and I think it likely, actually almost certain, that he did just that here. Which makes the fact that the H8ter Defendant Intervenors (DIs), who propagated the hateful Proposition 8, and who oppose gay marriage, have already lodged a Motion For Stay Pending Appeal very, very telling.”

It also means AFER’s Chad Griffn and attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies bought balloons and confetti, while Charlies Cooper and the other jerks stocked up on Kleenex.

Whatever. It’s all going to be appealed anyway.

Judge Vaughn Walker Will Issue Prop 8 Decision Wednesday
In Case You Want to Scream and Shout In The Streets About Today’s Prop 8 Ruling

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  • Drake

    Queerty, you are absolutely full of crap in saying that as a courtesy, Judges often give advance copies of their decisions to the lawyers on both sides of cases in media scrutinized cases. No real judge does this. The most the lawyers get is a phone call or an e-mail saying that the decision is ready to come out, nothing about the results or text.

  • Samuel

    I am almost certain that Judge Walker will rule in favor of the Prop 8 side. Vaughn is a lifelong Republican and embraced those (homophobic) values before Log Cabin and GOProud even existed. His ruling will concede that the Proposition is indeed anti-gay and unfair, but Constitutionally legal. This is classic GOP ideology. I think it was a big mistake to let him decide the case. Tony Perkins and Maggie Gallagher are going to be celebrating like crazy and emphasizing that an “avowed homosexual judge even ruled against same-sex marriage.”

  • Brutus

    @Drake: I’ve head of judges preparing orders ahead of time and even circulating them to the parties. Usually not on a final disposition, but I’ve heard of that happening too. Doubt it happened here, and it’s not done as a “courtesy” or in response to “media attention.”

  • Dawson

    @Samuel: Yes, because all judges only use their personal background to rule cases instead of the law itself. That is after all why they are judges and why justice is blind.

    That was sarcasm, the truth is that he can be the biggest bigot in the world and he will still, as a judge that values his office, put all that aside in order to base his actual ruling on the law.

  • Ricky Wuz Here

    @Samuel: it’s a good thing your “certainty” is wrong! Let this be a lesson to you: stop being such a “negative nancy”. A little more hope could do you good.

  • Republican


    You should be feeling like a total idiot right.

  • bluenosedive

    @Samuel: LOL! Fail!

  • unclemike

    @Samuel: Ha ha.

Comments are closed.