Retired federal court Judge Vaughn Walker, who penned the 2010 decision declaring Prop 8 unconstitutional under the California state constitution, spoke to ABC 7 yesterday following the landmark decisions by the Supreme Court, and he says, regarding the ruling on Prop 8, that he was "not surprised."
Walker was at the gym yesterday when he heard the news. ABC 7 asks him about the controversy that came about following his decision when it came to light that he, himself, was gay. He said it was "not unusual for judges to be in a situation where some aspect of their personal life is thought to play a role in their judicial decisions." Walker's sexual orientation was used by Prop 8 proponents to argue in federal court in 2011 that Walker's ruling should be invalidated.
He says that it "feels good" to have his decision reaffirmed, but he warns of a likely battle ahead, probably with a county clerk whose name rhymes with whorey, who may try to challenge Governor Jerry Brown's directive yesterday to begin performing marriages as soon as the Ninth Circuit lifts its stay. The argument, put forward in several amicus briefs, is that county clerks like Storey who have a moral objection to gay marriage may have standing to appeal Walker's decision. Storey was previously disallowed from joining the Prop 8 proponents in their appeal to the Ninth Circuit in 2011.
In reacting to yesterday's SCOTUS decision, unfortunately named gay marriage foe Austin Nimocks said in a press conference that, "We are happy that Proposition 8 does remain the law of the state of California." Ugh.