Main | Wednesday, April 13, 2011

SF Chronicle Editorial: Judge Walker Is Gay, Prop 8 Overturn Must Be Vacated

The San Francisco Chronicle has posted an editorial in which failed 2010 California attorney general candidate John Eastman calls for vacating Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling to overturn Prop 8. Because Walker's recent official coming out as a gay man in a long-term relationship shows that he personally benefited from his own ruling.
Walker's admission requires that his decision in the case be vacated. He is either a direct beneficiary of his ruling in the case, or a person with a close-enough personal interest in the case that his impartiality might reasonably have been questioned if the required disclosures had been made. In Liljeberg vs. Health Services Acquisition Corp., the U.S. Supreme Court held that vacatur is required even when the disqualifying relationship only became known to the parties 10 months after the judgment entered in the case had been upheld on appeal. Where an objective observer would have questioned the judge's impartiality, recusal is required, and the appropriate remedy is to vacate the judgment because of the risk of injustice to the parties and of undermining the public's confidence in the judicial process.
Nowhere in Eastman's piece does he mention that NOM supported his campaign for attorney general. The Chronicle fails to note that pesky detail as well.

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