12 Jan Prop. 8 Judge: Federal Judge, or Agenda-Driven Journalist?
The federal judge over the Proposition 8 case, Judge Walker, is acting less like a federal judge, and more like an agenda driven journalist. Walker, who wanted this trial to be posted on YouTube, had his true colors revealed in an LA Times article posted online last night.
The coverage of the case began with lawyers presenting arguments to Judge Walker. To those in support of gay marriage, Walker asked philosophical questions:
Olson (a lawyer in favor of gay marriage) called marriage “one of the most vital personal rights” and a “basic civil right.” Withholding it from gays and lesbians “doesn’t make sense,” he said.
(Rather than asking for a definition of civil rights) U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker asked if the state should simply get out of the business of issuing marriage licenses. (Walker was not seeking any kind of meaningful argument)
“That may solve the problem,” Olson said, but it “would never happen.”
Walker also asked Olson if voters are entitled to pass laws stemming from “moral disapproval,” such as prohibitions on alcohol. (100% philosophical, Olson could reply however he wants without losing credibility)
Olson replied that U.S. history is filled with moral condemnation of people based on their race, gender and ethnicity. Proposition 8, passed by 52.3% of California voters in 2008, perpetuates discrimination “for no good reason,” Olson said.
Absolutely no cross-questioning.
Now look at Judge Walker’s questions for the defense (and all but one paragraph of the defense mentioned in the two-page LA Times article):
Charles J. Cooper, who is representing the Proposition 8 campaign and has argued many cases before the Supreme Court, told Walker that a limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples has “prevailed in virtually every society since early history.” (And this is guaranteed to be the worst argument presented by the defense)
Walker noted that many states once barred interracial marriage (obviously demanding a good argument). Cooper replied that those laws were based on a notion of “white supremacy,” and not on a long-standing tradition.
Cooper said the evidence would show that opposite-sex marriage is good for children, and that the “procreative purpose of marriage” would be “diluted or weakened” if same-sex couples were permitted to marry. (Not a bad argument, but there’s better. See more here)
(Walker then) Asked what evidence exists to show that same-sex marriage would “radically alter the institution of marriage,” (again, acting as the plaintiff, Walker demanded a sensible argument) Cooper replied that data from the Netherlands will show that it leads to a decline in marriage rates. He said it also would lead to more children being raised outside of marriage and higher divorce rates.
As Edwin Meese said in his New York Times Op-Ed, the court has “(Stacked) the deck against Prop. 8.”
Judge Walker’s motives for putting the trial on YouTube may or may not be tainted. No matter the motives, Walker has fashioned the trial in a way that will make the defense look silly.
But maybe putting the trial on YouTube wouldn’t be so bad. I admit:
1.Our modern media works in sound bites, and I’m sure many people won’t not see the extreme bias that fills that San Francisco courtroom.
2. YouTube videos would give Judge Walker a chance to propagate his opinions.
3. Persecution of those defending traditional marriage would likely increase.
But, to allow the trial to be shown on YouTube could also have some advantages:
1. The country will see all the fallacy filled arguments of plaintiff lawyers (not to say the defense hasn’t used any, they have).
2. People will recognize the extreme bias that is framing the trial.
3. The trial is a public display of misused power. Judge Walker is clearly acting against the U.S. judicial oath, which reads:
“I, ________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as ________ under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.”
There are many definitions of the word respect, feel free to look at them. After reviewing them, it was clear to me that the definition meant in that oath was “favor or partiality.”
Judge Walker’s oath was, “I will administer justice without (favor or partiality) to persons.” His obvious bias is a mockery to the American justice system and the vow that he himself made.
Putting the trial on YouTube wouldn’t be so bad. It would just start a race between propagators and truth-tellers.
And truth always wins.