The gay federal judge who struck down California’s Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriages should have recused himself, and because he didn’t, the ruling should be thrown out, Prop 8 backers have told a district court.
The ruling by now-retired federal Judge Vaughn Walker (photo) was targeted by attorneys for a group called ProtectMarriage, according to a Los Angeles Times article.
“Judge Walker’s ten-year-long same-sex relationship creates the unavoidable impression that he was not the impartial judge the law requires,” said Andy Pugno, one of the lawyers. “He was obligated to either recuse himself or provide full disclosure of this relationship at the outset of the case. These circumstances demand setting aside his decision.”
Earlier this month, Walker told reporters he never considered stepping aside from the case because he is gay (see Gavel Grab). “I don’t think it’s relevant,” he said.
Erwin Chemerinsky, law school dean at the University of California at Irvine, was dismissive of the merits of the legal challenge. “This is an offensive personal attack on Vaughn Walker,” Chemerinsky said.
Walker recently disclosed that he is gay, and he said he’s been in a decade-long relationship with a man, Bloomberg reported.