Quotes of the day

posted at 10:49 pm on April 26, 2011 by Allahpundit

“The sponsors of California’s same-sex marriage ban said Monday that the recent disclosure by the federal judge who struck down Proposition 8 that he is in a long-term relationship with another man has given them new grounds to have his historic ruling overturned.

“Lawyers for the ban’s backers filed a motion in San Francisco’s U.S. District Court, arguing that Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker should have removed himself from the case or at least disclosed his relationship status because his ‘impartiality might reasonably be questioned.’

“‘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,’ attorneys for the coalition of religious and conservative groups that put Proposition 8 on the November 2008 ballot wrote.

***
“Leslie Abramson, a scholar of judicial ethics at the University of Louisville law school, told TIME that Cooper has [one] part right. ‘In both federal and state courts, the Code of Judicial Conduct is supposed to be self-executing,’ Abramson said. ‘The judge is not supposed to await a motion to disqualify before considering the circumstances of the case or parties.’…

“Still, even if Cooper is wrong to argue that Walker’s interest in getting married — an assertion he does not support with facts — made him ineligible to hear the case, there still remain questions. Was Walker wrong to keep quiet about his orientation during the trial? Why not simply disclose it and continue with the case?

“Abramson notes that such an approach ‘carries the most potential for transparency.’ But there’s a downside too. If judges must reveal the personal details of their lives, they could end up being deposed by fact-finding attorneys hoping to unveil nuggets of their past.”

***
“Experts in judicial ethics said Tuesday that carefully parsed line of reasoning is unlikely to prevail…

“Retired California state Judge Jeffrey Rothman said bias claims have arisen in the past surrounding judges with strong religious views. But he noted that the bar for disqualification is purposefully set high. Lawyers representing a clinic that performed abortions, for example, would not be able to challenge a devoutly Catholic judge, he said.

“‘They would get absolutely nowhere with such a challenge unless that judge had gone out and made statements or speeches saying he believed that Roe v. Wade ought to be overturned if that case ever came before them,’ Rothman said. ‘The question is, can the beliefs be set aside and the judge decide the case on its merits and be fair.’”

***
“But it also must be presumed that Chief Judge Walker had a nonwaivable conflict as well. For if at any time while this case was pending before him, Chief Judge Walker and his partner determined that they desired, or might desire, to marry, Chief Judge Walker plainly had an ‘interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding.’ 28 U.S.C. § 455(b)(4). Indeed, such a personal interest in his own marriage would place Chief Judge Walker in precisely the same shoes as the two couples who brought the case.

“Such a clear and direct stake in the outcome would create a nonwaivable conflict, and recusal would have been mandatory. Chief Judge Walker thus had a duty to disclose not only the facts concerning his relationship, but also his marriage intentions, for the parties (and the public) were entitled to know whether his waivable conflict was actually a nonwaivable conflict mandating his disqualification. 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 in violation of Section 455(b)(4). Because he did not do so when the case was assigned to him, and has not done so since, it must be presumed that he has an interest in marrying his partner and therefore was in fact the ‘judge in his own case.’”

***
“Opponents of same-sex marriage are arguing, in effect, that because Walker was in a long term same-sex relationship, he stood to benefit personally from Prop 8 being overturned. They argue, naturally, that the issue is not Walker’s sexuality per se, but his relationship status. But by that logic the only way a gay or lesbian judge could rule impartially on matters involving gay rights is if they’re celibate.

“The problem is that this same logic could be applied to a straight, married judge hearing the case. After all, supporters of the same-sex marriage ban are arguing that marriage equality is so damaging to the institution of marriage that the government has a vital interest in making sure gays and lesbians can’t get married. That means that a straight, married judge couldn’t be expected to be impartial, either — after all, according to supporters of Prop 8, ‘the further deinstitutionalization of marriage caused by the legalization of same-sex marriage,’ would directly impact married heterosexuals. Therefore, a heterosexual, married judge could be seen as having just as much ‘skin in the game’ as Judge Walker.”


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The “problem” was that he did not reveal that he ‘had a dog in the fight’.

GarandFan on April 26, 2011 at 10:54 PM

Trump lamenters rejoice – a gay marriage thread!

Jeddite on April 26, 2011 at 10:54 PM

Well lots of us certainly howled about the Judge’s orientation at the time of this decision. If it was a secret it seemed like an open one. The burden should be on the Judge to prove that he was not biased in the case. Good luck with that, your honor.

cynccook on April 26, 2011 at 10:57 PM

The “problem” was that he did not reveal that he ‘had a dog in the fight’.

GarandFan on April 26, 2011 at 10:54 PM

Apparently, it was a hot dog.

Terrie on April 26, 2011 at 10:57 PM

Marriage recognition by the state of California means recognition for Walker and his partner if they decide to marry. That means tax benefits on the state level, and that means money in the bank.

I see it this way. If a judge is about to rule from the bench on an antitrust suit against, say, Microsoft, oughtn’t he at least reveal whether or not he owns Microsoft stock, and how he would benefit if the case were ruled in certain ways?

Nobody is saying that Walker can’t rule on the case because he’s gay. But he can’t lie by omission on something clearly material to the case and not expect to have his judgment called into question.

KingGold on April 26, 2011 at 10:58 PM

Apparently, it was a hot dog.

Terrie on April 26, 2011 at 10:57 PM

Groan. But thanks for not saying a weiner dog.

cynccook on April 26, 2011 at 10:59 PM

Oh my, this again. Going back to bed.

OmahaConservative on April 26, 2011 at 11:00 PM

Because he did not do so when the case was assigned to him, and has not done so since, it must be presumed that he has an interest in marrying his partner

It “must be assumed”? Really? That seems like a stretch.

SDnocoen on April 26, 2011 at 11:03 PM

“The problem is that this same logic could be applied to a straight, married judge hearing the case.”

That would seem to be tacit admission that gay marriage would in fact inflict harm on married straights. Is that really what WaPo wants to argue?

BKeyser on April 26, 2011 at 11:06 PM

He also framed the debate and what could be entered as evidence.
This is more telling.

bbz123 on April 26, 2011 at 11:08 PM

Because he did not do so when the case was assigned to him, and has not done so since, it must be presumed that he has an interest in marrying his partner

It “must be assumed”? Really? That seems like a stretch.

SDnocoen on April 26, 2011 at 11:03 PM

Yeah, quite the sleight of hand, there.

crr6 on April 26, 2011 at 11:10 PM

Some percentage of population is gay. It’s just a fact. They don’t have to recluse themselves because some stupid bigots want a referendum.

thuja on April 26, 2011 at 11:11 PM

BKeyser on April 26, 2011 at 11:06 PM

I think WaPo is arguing that would be true if the anti-gay marriage groups (who are mainly the ones complaining about Walker) actually believed their own rhetoric.

SDnocoen on April 26, 2011 at 11:12 PM

Barney Frank is starting to foam and lather at the orifices…

Seven Percent Solution on April 26, 2011 at 11:12 PM

Left out:

The will of the Californian people as expressed in their vote.

Once upon a time, this would have been important.

Rebar on April 26, 2011 at 11:15 PM

Solution – an old maid wise Latina.

Oleta on April 26, 2011 at 11:16 PM

Left out:

The will of the Californian people as expressed in their vote.

Once upon a time, this would have been important.

Rebar on April 26, 2011 at 11:15 PM

We’ll see what the will of the Californian people is in 2014 or 2016. I hope you think it is just as important then.

thuja on April 26, 2011 at 11:18 PM

gay marriage? boring topic.

unseen on April 26, 2011 at 11:18 PM

I just wonder, if it was ok when he was gay, but not in a relationship, did they think he was a gay man who ran through a hundred flings a year?

amazingmets on April 26, 2011 at 11:27 PM

Solution – an old maid wise Latina.

Oleta on April 26, 2011 at 11:16 PM

Isn’t she gay, too?

karenhasfreedom on April 26, 2011 at 11:29 PM

We’ll see what the will of the Californian people is in 2014 or 2016. I hope you think it is just as important then.

thuja on April 26, 2011 at 11:18 PM

If it goes against gay marriage then also, you’ll discard it just as fast as you discarded this vote.

For the radical progressives, votes only count when it goes their way. Otherwise, off to court you go, or recount until you’re ahead, or simply disregard the law and do it anyway.

Fascists.

Rebar on April 26, 2011 at 11:38 PM

For the radical progressives, votes only count when it goes their way.

Rebar on April 26, 2011 at 11:38 PM

Exactly. And the funny thing is, I voted for gay marriage in California. Never again, by their antics.

John the Libertarian on April 26, 2011 at 11:41 PM

John the Libertarian on April 26, 2011 at 11:41 PM

Hello!..Good to see you..Looks like it is going to be a slow night!..:)

Dire Straits on April 26, 2011 at 11:44 PM

We’ll see what the will of the Californian people is in 2014 or 2016. I hope you think it is just as important then.

thuja on April 26, 2011 at 11:18 PM

Right, ’cause all those Latino Catholics just love same sex marriage.

rockmom on April 26, 2011 at 11:44 PM

Looks like it is going to be a slow night!..:)

Dire Straits on April 26, 2011 at 11:44 PM

Already had a spit-ball fight in the “Independents” thread.

John the Libertarian on April 26, 2011 at 11:47 PM

Apparently, it was a hot dog.

Terrie on April 26, 2011 at 10:57 PM

Two angels are hanging out in heaven when one looks down and finds a hot dog lying on the cloud. Being a pretty old pair of angels, neither of them had ever seen a hot dog before. “I know who’ll know what it is,” one says. “Let’s take it to the Archangel Michael.” They take it to Michael, who says “No, I don’t recognize it. Maybe St. Peter.” They go to the Pearly Gates and show the hot dog to St. Peter who scratches his haloed head for a moment and says “Tell you what, let’s take it to the Virgin Mary. The Queen of Heaven knows everything.” The four of them take the hot dog to the Blessed Mother, who takes it, looks at it thoughtfully for a minute and says, “Well, I’m not sure what it is, but you put a pair of wings on it and it’s a dead ringer for the Holy Spirit.”

Schadenfreude on April 26, 2011 at 11:47 PM

Right, ’cause all those Latino Catholics just love same sex marriage.

rockmom on April 26, 2011 at 11:44 PM

Oh, so you support Obama’s position on immigration if it will prevent gay marriage? Good luck with that.

thuja on April 26, 2011 at 11:48 PM

marriage equality is so damaging to the institution of marriage that the government has a vital interest in making sure gays and lesbians can’t get married.

And all judges that are alive should recuse themselves from murder cases.

The case is granting a new right to a specific group. A judge that is a member of that group should disclose that fact.

pedestrian on April 26, 2011 at 11:49 PM

Already had a spit-ball fight in the “Independents” thread.

John the Libertarian on April 26, 2011 at 11:47 PM

Hold on a second!..:)

Dire Straits on April 26, 2011 at 11:50 PM

But by that logic the only way a gay or lesbian judge could rule impartially on matters involving gay rights is if they’re celibate.

Is it possible for a gay or lesbian judge to rule impartially on “gay rights”? no/maybe/probably/yes/idunno… but a gay or lesbian judge should be able to run the actual proceedings without revealing their whole hand like Judge Walker did… this guy was absolutely terrible and unprofessional.

ninjapirate on April 26, 2011 at 11:51 PM

But the judge can marry right now.

As anyone thoughout history has been able to marry.

A member of the opposite sex, since marriage means a union of opposites, not sames.

If you alter a fundamental basis of society and Civilization like marriage, you open the floodgates to the changing of the meanings of every fundamental structure of human behavior.

Why not polygamy? Polyandry? Pederasty? Et al.

Or any other change to the actual meaning of marriage?

Which will then have to legally be included in all school curriculums from kindergarten onward.

And enforced in the workplace, as mandated the federal government.

You’re under arrest for mocking the polymorphous consanguinous group marriage of this genetically-engineered hermaphrodite and her two sons, one of whom was her daughter, and their transvestite gardener Herman.”

profitsbeard on April 26, 2011 at 11:52 PM

This shouldn’t even be in front of any judge. The law the people passed should just be followed.

If a gay judge has to recuse themselves and a straight judge has to recuse themselves… how about we just go with the voice of the people. Then we can be sure there is no bias.

But of course that would mean the left didn’t have control over every life in America and we can’t have that.

petunia on April 26, 2011 at 11:52 PM

The appearance of impropriety is as strenuously to be avoided as impropriety itself. And the judge’s relationship status, not publicly revealed until after the ruling, appeared quite improper when considering the content of the case and ruling.

A judge who is a swinger should recuse him/herself from a noise ordinance case involving a swinger party. No matter how objective the judge can be in actuality, it would be grounds for appeal if the judge’s….hobby ever came to light.

Sekhmet on April 26, 2011 at 11:54 PM

Well before this goes off the deep end, which is likely considering the quotes themselves show people are clueless, let me restate the obvious.

What matters here is Walker had a obligation to disclose any POTENTIAL bias. The mere facts that Walker is gay and in a long term relationship do not matter. What matters is he had a Potential conflict of interest and did not disclose it. That alone is enough to overturn this case.

Rocks on April 26, 2011 at 11:54 PM

Already had a spit-ball fight in the “Independents” thread.

John the Libertarian on April 26, 2011 at 11:47 PM

I see you did..Looks like the Conservatives are trying to force “hearts and minds”!?!..:)

Dire Straits on April 26, 2011 at 11:55 PM

Right, ’cause all those Latino Catholics just love same sex marriage.

rockmom on April 26, 2011 at 11:44 PM

Oh, so you support Obama’s position on immigration if it will prevent gay marriage? Good luck with that.

thuja on April 26, 2011 at 11:48 PM

I was too quick in answering rockmom. I have had the unfortunate experience of arguing with leftist Mexicans on this very issue. They claim that Mexico is ahead of the United States in accepting gay marriage since Mexico City now recognizes gay marriage. I do think that the United States is more supportive of gay marriage, but it would be amusing for rockmom to debate the leftist Mexicans, though we can all agree they are idiots.

thuja on April 26, 2011 at 11:58 PM

Looks like the Conservatives are trying to force “hearts and minds”!?!..:)

Dire Straits on April 26, 2011 at 11:55 PM

Yeah. Or more like Republicans who stayed to fight the good fight need affirmation it wasn’t in vain. I kept telling them I vote Republican every flippin’ time, but it wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t snorting the kool-aid.

John the Libertarian on April 27, 2011 at 12:02 AM

they are idiots.

thuja on April 26, 2011 at 11:58 PM

No need to clarify. I do believe in Roget’s thesaurus that leftist = idiot.

John the Libertarian on April 27, 2011 at 12:06 AM

I wasn’t snorting the kool-aid.

John the Libertarian on April 27, 2011 at 12:02 AM

Excellent point!..You represented the “independent” view very well!..:)

Dire Straits on April 27, 2011 at 12:08 AM

The Donald gets support from Palin and we have President Trump…not sure that is a bad thing.

Who is John Galt on April 27, 2011 at 12:21 AM

Er, Trump/Palin 2012!

Who is John Galt on April 27, 2011 at 12:24 AM

The Donald gets support from Palin and we have President Trump…not sure that is a bad thing.

Who is John Galt on April 27, 2011 at 12:21 AM

Palin basically called him a flash in the pan and hopes he will start talking about the real issues tonight in so many words. Not a great “endorsement”.

unseen on April 27, 2011 at 12:29 AM

Palin kicks the ever loving $h!t out of Obama twice today. Whipped him like a rented mule and THIS is the QOTD??!!??

I guess Trump didn’t say anything stupid today.

What a friggin’ joke.

gary4205 on April 27, 2011 at 2:07 AM

The Donald gets support from Palin and we have President Trump…not sure that is a bad thing.

Who is John Galt on April 27, 2011 at 12:21 AM

Palin basically called him a flash in the pan and hopes he will start talking about the real issues tonight in so many words. Not a great “endorsement”.

unseen on April 27, 2011 at 12:29 AM

I get the impression from Sarah’s last two interviews that she is quite tickled this moron, Trump, is out there making a big fool out of himself, and sucking all of the oxygen out of the room.

As long as Trump is out there saying stupid things, Willard, Huckabee, T-Paw and the rest of the RINOs are being ignored. No one is paying them any attention whatsoever.

I imagine she hopes he keeps it up until she announces later in the year. Then SHE will suck up all the oxygen in the room, and no one else will matter.

I love it.

gary4205 on April 27, 2011 at 2:12 AM

JtL, from clueless horde to clueless wonder…/

Gohawgs on April 27, 2011 at 2:20 AM

Er, Trump/Palin 2012!

Who is John Galt on April 27, 2011 at 12:24 AM

Congratulations. You’ve managed to provide evidence of a mental black hole, from which no intelligence can possibly escape due to the extreme density of stupidity.

Now, if you were speculating on whether Palin, Paul or Trump has the best chance of becoming President in 2013, that might be an intellectual excerise. Judging the difference between a 1%, .1%, or .01% possibility isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Hollowpoint on April 27, 2011 at 3:21 AM

He’s hot.

leftnomore on April 27, 2011 at 5:14 AM

California only cares about Vox Populi when Leftists Judges agree with the populi be voxing . . .

BigAlSouth on April 27, 2011 at 5:56 AM

So glad I shook the dust of CA off my feet in 2005…

OmahaConservative on April 27, 2011 at 6:18 AM

“The problem is that this same logic could be applied to a straight, married judge hearing the case…

No, because being gay is an aberration, only about 2% or 3% are gay and that means it is a select group.
The standard for society is “straight”, so aberrations have to be separated and acknowledged.
If you were a Jesuit priest and a judge, you would not be allowed to hear a case on priest molestations…but if you were a Christian it wouldn’t be a problem.

right2bright on April 27, 2011 at 7:38 AM

Er, Trump/Palin 2012!

Who is John Galt on April 27, 2011 at 12:24 AM

Pal, better read Thomas Sowell and his latest on Trump…basically we get the same as Obama with Trump, and I have no one on my radar with more economic insight than Thomas Sowell.

right2bright on April 27, 2011 at 7:40 AM

50 comments? Ooooo boy.

Bishop on April 27, 2011 at 7:43 AM

The standard for society is “straight”, so aberrations have to be separated and acknowledged.
If you were a Jesuit priest and a judge, you would not be allowed to hear a case on priest molestations…but if you were a Christian it wouldn’t be a problem.

right2bright on April 27, 2011 at 7:38 AM

By your reasoning then Jewish judges are members of a select group.

dedalus on April 27, 2011 at 7:57 AM

By your reasoning then Jewish judges are members of a select group.

dedalus on April 27, 2011 at 7:57 AM

Yeh, the kiddush club. We don’t need no stinkin’ Bar!

Shy Guy on April 27, 2011 at 8:32 AM

Er, Trump/Palin 2012!

Who is John Galt on April 27, 2011 at 12:24 AM

I forgot the /sarc tag.

Who is John Galt on April 27, 2011 at 10:14 AM

No, because being gay is an aberration, only about 2% or 3% are gay and that means it is a select group.
The standard for society is “straight”, so aberrations have to be separated and acknowledged.
If you were a Jesuit priest and a judge, you would not be allowed to hear a case on priest molestations…but if you were a Christian it wouldn’t be a problem. – right2bright on April 27, 2011 at 7:38 AM

Really? By your reasoning Roman Catholics should not be on juries in priest child molestation cases. Everyone knew that this judge was gay when the trial started. He was under more scrutiny because of that fact.

SC.Charlie on April 27, 2011 at 10:31 AM

Gay judge finds for gay agenda.

Knock me over with a feather why don’ta ya.

44Magnum on April 27, 2011 at 11:25 AM