California | Federal Prop 8 Trial | Gay Marriage | James Ware | News | Proposition 8 | Vaughn Walker

Following Hearing, Ruling to Come Within 24 Hours on Judge's Sexuality in Prop 8 Case

A hearing into the frivolous Motion to Vacate made by Prop 8 proponents over the judge's sexuality in the Prop 8 case took place early today. The hearing was prompted by a motion from proponents of Proposition 8 over the fact that Judge Vaughn Walker, who overturned California's ban on same-sex marriage, is in a relationship with a man.

Ware Our legal expert Ari Ezra Waldman wrote his take on the motion back in April. Read it here.

Reuters' Dan Levine reports on the hearing

[JAmes]Ware (pictured), an African-American judge nominated to the bench by George H.W. Bush, sharply questioned Charles Cooper, the attorney defending California's marriage ban. "If a reasonable person thought a black judge should recuse himself from a civil rights case, that would be sufficient to recuse the judge?" Ware asked.

"No, your honor," Cooper responded. Ware also pointed out that while Walker was in a long term relationship, there was no evidence that he wanted to marry.

Theodore Boutrous, an attorney for the same sex couples, called the attempt to vacate the ruling offensive. "Their motion is targeting Judge Walker's sexual orientation, no matter how they try to camouflage it," Boutrous said.

Griffin_boutros Added Boutros, in a statement from AFER:

“The Proponents of Prop. 8 today advocated for a sweeping and completely unsupported standard for disqualification that would preclude hundreds of qualified, fair-minded judges from deciding some of the most important issues facing our country. Their standard is intended to, and would, prevent gay, lesbian or bisexual judges from impartially presiding over cases involving the rights of same-sex individuals and couples – an offensive suggestion that has been consistently rejected by the courts in similar cases involving race and sex discrimination.”

Here's a thorough liveblog archive from the Courage Campaign's Adam Bink if you'd like to read through the questioning.

Ware said he would rule quickly, likely within 24 hours, on the case.

Watch ABC7's report on today's hearing and activity outside the courtroom,

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. The letter of the law versus the spirit of the law

    The letter of the law versus the spirit of the law is an idiomatic antithesis. When one obeys the letter of the law but not the spirit, one is obeying the literal interpretation of the words (the "letter") of the law, but not the intent of those who wrote the law. Conversely, when one obeys the spirit of the law but not the letter, one is doing what the authors of the law intended, though not adhering to the literal wording.

    "Law" originally referred to legislative statute, but in the idiom may refer to any kind of rule. Intentionally following the letter of the law but not the spirit may be accomplished through exploiting technicalities, loopholes, and ambiguous language. Following the letter of the law but not the spirit is also a tactic used by oppressive governments.

    Posted by: I'm Layla Miller I Know Stuff | Jun 13, 2011 6:46:41 PM

  2. They got an African-American judge for the ruling on this motion? And Judge Ware didn't hesitate right there to ask about a similar scenario from a racial perspective? OMG, heh.

    They can not catch a break, can they? GOOD.

    Posted by: AnotherG | Jun 13, 2011 6:48:03 PM

  3. These folks have no shame. I just hope Judge Ware in quick order also releases the tapes for all to see. These people are simply despicable.

    Posted by: Mike | Jun 13, 2011 7:09:46 PM

  4. Did Judge Ware mention to the court that he has no plans of not recusing himself from cases in the future before this trial began? If not, then I don't see how a reasonable person wouldn't see him as having something to gain from the outcome of the trial.

    Also, clearly he is unfit to judge a case involving something that will bring the downfall of society (gay marriage). He clearly benefits from society not falling in a direct financial way. Society pays his paycheck after all.


    Posted by: Randy | Jun 13, 2011 7:28:14 PM

  5. I don't think he'll need the whole 24 hours to say "Denied."

    Posted by: Rich | Jun 13, 2011 7:28:31 PM

  6. Fruck'N Outrageous!

    Posted by: MoJo | Jun 13, 2011 8:07:05 PM

  7. Who else thinks that Judge Ware is waiting until tomorrow so he doesn't give these bigot a reason for appeal because he didn't dot over i and cross every t, seems how these people are taking every reason to take their unconstitutional law all the way to the Supreme Court?

    Posted by: Garst | Jun 13, 2011 8:14:47 PM

  8. In all 100% seriousness...there was a segment on Fox News this afternoon in which they discussed that the sexuality of the judge has NOTHING to do with his decision and that any questions regarding it are stupid. I wish that clip would be posted somewhere so people can see that when you don't listen to the pundits and commentators, Fox News is relatively fair. This was an anchor and a contributing judge having this conversation. IT was really refreshing and nice.

    Posted by: BC | Jun 13, 2011 8:23:06 PM

  9. It was widely known from the beginning of the trial that Walker was gay. The lawyers certainly all knew. They could have objected at the time but seeing that they had a losing case chose to sit on that information as a grounds to appeal (to Fox News viewers mostly) after they lost. Walker was way beyond thorough in the case. There's nothing in the court record that creates a grounds of overturning the case based on any alleged bias.

    Posted by: Houndentenor | Jun 13, 2011 8:39:31 PM

  10. It's ridiculous and discriminatory that the court even heard this motion.

    Posted by: MacroT | Jun 14, 2011 1:04:11 AM

  11. I'm glad Boutrous is getting some attention. He put in a lot of work into this case, with witnesses on the stand, but Olson and Boies get the big press. They deserve it, but Boutrous should be seen too.

    Posted by: Randy | Jun 14, 2011 1:34:11 AM

  12. Oh yes, .... as if their loss at trial had nothing to do with their crappy case and lack of evidence whatsoever. The lack of preparation, the absence of convincing arguments, the lack of credibility of their single witness, the contradictory statements made in front of the judge, none of this had anything to do with their loss of the case. They lost because judge Walker was gay and was hellbent on ruling against them. That's what happened!

    This is essentially the statement they're making and they're out of their wits if they expect any reasonable judge to buy it (and I'm trusting that Judge Ware is a reasonable person). Besides, there was a very fine point made by one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs: The Prop 8 lawyers had known about judge Walker's sexual orientation even before the start of trial. In all this time up until the ruling, they never asked the judge to even disclose any personal information that might indicate a conflict of interest, let alone ask him to recuse himself. Instead they cook up this motion seven months after the final ruling. You can't wait until long after you've lost to question the judge's partiality. If this doesn't smell of desperation, I don't know what does.

    They're throwing pasta at the wall just to see what sticks, except this pile of pasta is oiled and won't stick.

    Posted by: Mark | Jun 14, 2011 1:55:29 AM

  13. I appreciate what you have done.

    Posted by: Chicago Cubs jersey | Jun 14, 2011 3:08:46 AM

  14. Agree that this case never should have been heard, but heartened that its outcome can only strengthen LGBT rights.

    If there is some bizarre chance they find against Walker, there should be a riot in San Francisco. And throughout California. But I really see that being an unlikely outcome.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jun 14, 2011 5:49:01 AM

  15. The Prop 8 lawyers continue to shoot themselves in the foot. At trial, they made one offensive and ridiculous assertion after another, and called totally unqualified expert witnesses whose bigoted agenda was obvious. Now, they're insulting every judge of any persuasion by assuming that personal considerations make bias inevitable.

    Let's hope the Prop 8 people use the same lawyers before the Supreme Court - where even Scalia will be annoyed.

    Posted by: wimsy | Jun 14, 2011 9:59:19 AM

  16. The most interesting point of this is that not everyone who is in a relationship wants to be married. It doesn't matter what your orientation is; it was even stated that Walker has not indicated wanting to be married. People are looking for reasons to prevent others from being able to demonstrate their love for another person. There is nothing that prevents two people from marrying. And if someone wants to say that the Bible says marriage is between a man and a woman, they need to remember that church and state are separate. People need to get off their high horse and stop thinking that their is only one proper life choice: heteronormative. Not everyone is going to fit into this mold, and people should not be blamed because their biological make up determines their orientation.

    Posted by: Report Writer | Jun 14, 2011 10:45:06 AM

  17. Excuse me!!! Based on the plaintiffs argument, If the Judge had been a strait man married to a strait woman, and had ruled for the Prop8 group, the argument could be made that being strait disqualifies the Judge from ruling on a homosexual case.

    Posted by: Jerry6 | Jun 14, 2011 11:01:59 PM

Post a comment


« «VIDEO: NY Senators Addabbo, Huntley, Kruger Announce Support of Marriage Equality« «