Prop. 8 Judge Vaughn Walker Stepping Down Next Year

Vaughnwalker Judge Vaughn Walker, who declared California's Proposition 8 unconstitutional, announced today that he will step down from the bench in February of next year.

"Concluding 21 years of judicial service, I leave the bench with the highest respect and regard for the federal judiciary, its judges and their staff and the essential role they fulfill in our constitutional system," Walker, 66, wrote to President Obama.

Walker became a highly controversial figure during the trial, when right-wing opponents claimed he was gay and that he should therefore be removed from the same-sex equality case. Walker has never discussed his sexuality in public.

Gay, straight or somewhere in between, best of luck to you, Your Honor. And thank you for your years of dedicated, fair-minded service.


  1. Zlick says

    Thanks for everything, Judge W. I hear Judge’s often retire after a defining ruling, and if that’s the case here, you certainly picked a doozie. Your decision will be one for the history books.

  2. JC says

    This is terrible news, mainly because everyone who disagreed with his ruling will cite this as evidence that Walker mishandled the case. It’s like someone screwing something up and then resigning.

  3. 7 says

    Anyone that uses this resignation as evidence of his ineptness is an idiot, and probably part of the same group that made him want to leave his seat in the first place.

  4. Jubal Harshaw says

    Respect is earned in this life and Judge Walker has definitely earned mine. Not because he’s presumed gay or because he ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in S v P but because he carefully reviewed the case and allowed good jurisprudence to make the ruling for him.

    Thank you Judge Walker for your service and dedication to justice.

  5. Frederick says

    Thank you, Judge Walker, for your dedicated and jurisprudent years of judicial service. Enjoy your much-earned retirement!

  6. says

    Judge Walker is a hero – not because he ruled in what I consider my favor, but because he upheld the California constitution, and wasn’t strong armed by the domestic terrorists known as NOM.

  7. Tom says

    He did his job. Unfortunate that his departure WILL be used by the irrationals. But then, being irrational and spreading fear is that (bowel) movement’s only ally anyway, so no surprise there.

  8. Fred says

    Judge Walker – I will share a few bottles of Taittinger champagne with great friends this weekend as we enjoy great food, great company and spectacular fall color in Minnesota. And I’ll secretly wish you were here with us to enjoy it all, but also so I could get to know what I suspect is an amazing man!


  9. wimsy says

    The beauty of a well-reasoned, carefully-considered, comprehensive, logical judicial decision is lost on the lunatic fringe, who disregard any fact they don’t like. The same whack-job crowd who say Obama was born on Saturn, that the U.S. government bombed the twin towers, and that the U.S. was founded as a “Christian Nation” will claim they drove Walker off the bench — just like the Taliban take credit for every fender-bender in Afghanistan. A recent NYT columnist opined that 5% of the American people are just plain crazy. Her numbers were far too conservative.

  10. Ben says

    “Walker became a highly controversial figure…” You do Judge Walker an extreme disservice by describing him as controversial as if his professional, well-reasoned and thoughtful approach to doing his job is somehow a matter of debate.

    Social conservatives and the nutjobs who love them failed to win the legal arguement so then they turned to attacking him as some sort of proof of something nefarious and anti-family blah blah blah.

    No one took seriously these charges. You should correct that.

  11. Brains says

    I wish you well Judge Walker…..and thank you!

    May you land in the land of legal cash plenty, and enjoy the fruits of your labor…with your beloved….and don’t, forget…….donations to your “Family”…..will always be welcome!

    From the land of the City by the Bay!

  12. terry says

    I’ll not forget the time I ran down the hall
    to get a drink of water in my stocking feet.
    You cought me & said that’s not approprate for this law firm. Or something like that.
    I thought how conservative, but you said it in a kind manner. (all those years ago) We certainly have come a long way. I wish you well in retirement, and thankyou for who you