Federal judge says gay Proposition 8 judge was not required to recuse himself
U.S. District Chief Judge James Ware said during a court hearing Monday that there was no evidence that retired Judge Vaughn R. Walker should have recused himself from the Proposition 8 trial.
The Los Angeles Times reported that sponsors of Proposition 8, California’s 2008 ban on same sex marriage, argued that Walker should have been disqualified because he failed to disclose his 10-year relationship with a male partner.
Attorney Charles Cooper alleged that Walker, who overturned the same sex marriage ban in January 2010, had a personal interest in the outcome of the case.
But Ware said there was no evidence that Walker planned to to marry his partner. “You can be in a long-term relationship without it being for purposes of marriage,” he noted.
Ware compared a gay judge recusing himself from a same-sex marriage case to a black judge recusing himself from a civil rights case.
“You can’t simply assume that a judge who takes an oath to uphold the law is incapable of deciding fairly,” he said.