Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Pete Winn

9/18/2012 (2 years ago)

CNSNews (www.cnsnews.com)

In 2010, Walker overturned California's Proposition 8

Judge Vaughn Walker, the now-retired federal judge in San Francisco who nullified California's Proposition 8 in 2010, said if judges really are umpires, they must sometimes "move the strike zone" in order to champion social issues like same-sex marriage. Walker said federal judges must "reflect the common understanding of the day" and that "clear and fixed legal rules" do not exist.

Judge Vaughn Walker who on April 6, 2011 told reporters that he is gay

Judge Vaughn Walker who on April 6, 2011 told reporters that he is gay

Highlights

By Pete Winn

CNSNews (www.cnsnews.com)

9/18/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Judge Vaughn Walker, Proposition 8, gay, homosexual, gay marriage, judicial activism, Pete Winn


WASHINGTON, DC (CNSNews.com) - Judge Vaughn Walker, the now-retired federal judge in San Francisco who nullified California's Proposition 8 in 2010, said if judges really are umpires, they must sometimes "move the strike zone" in order to champion social issues like same-sex marriage. "Case by case, what judges do and must do is take account of the pitcher and the batter in the legal arena, watch the windup, the throw, the curve, and the delivery and then, where they believe appropriate, move the strike zone," Walker wrote on Aug. 28 in the University of Illinois Law Review. But Walker, flouting Justice Antonin Scalia and other strict constructionists, said that "judges not only make law, but cannot avoid doing so." "Many judges and politicians say that judges should act like umpires in the judicial arena and simply 'call balls and strikes,'" Walker wrote in the article, titled Moving the Strike Zone. "These judges and politicians have convinced a large portion of the U.S. public that judges should act this way and, therefore, should not make law but instead interpret the Constitution using so-called 'originalism' or 'strict constructionism.' But is it even possible for a judge to simply act as an umpire?" Walker wrote In 2010, Walker overturned California's Proposition 8, ruling that the voter-approved ballot initiative violated the Constitution's equal protection clause by defining marriage to be the union of one man and one woman. In his article, Walker said federal judges must "reflect the common understanding of the day" and that "clear and fixed legal rules" do not exist. "There is no fixed 'strike zone,'" Walker wrote. The former chief federal judge for the Northern District of California, Walker has drawn criticism for not disclosing his homosexuality until after he retired from the federal bench in 2011 -- not during the 2010 trial on same-sex marriage. In the article, Walker said judges are well-suited to "reject or correct" laws that are based on "discredited understandings" or "dogmas born of myths and unsubstantiated beliefs." "Courts are particularly well suited in some situations for law making even on fundamental issues," he wrote. "Unlike elected officials, judges, particularly federal judges, are not looking to the next election for vindication or retention of their positions," he wrote. "Although a courtroom is hardly a laboratory suitable for scientific experimentation, factual premises that underlie many social, economic, and political policies that have been legislatively enacted are exposed in a courtroom in way that is not possible elsewhere. "In the hurly burly of electoral politics, in the halls and hearing rooms of legislative bodies, long-winded and evasive assertions are rarely challenged effectively. But a courtroom is different. "One prominent litigator has said that the witness stand is a lonely place. It is especially lonely for someone who spouts a racial or gender theory, propositions without credible support, or dogmas born of myths and unsubstantiated beliefs. Yet each of these has been and continues in the present day to be the support for so-called legislative findings or facts that have been enacted into law and that treat some citizens differently and without reason. "In a courtroom, these findings or facts can be exposed for what they are - propositions born of misunderstanding, bigotry, or intolerance," Walker wrote. The image of the judge being an umpire comes from Chief Justice John Roberts, who, during the opening day of his confirmation hearings in 2005, said his "job" as a Supreme Court justice was "to call balls and strikes, and not to pitch or bat."

---

CNSNews.com is a division of the Media Research Center, a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) organization. Like National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting System, CNSNews.com is able to provide its services and information to the public at no cost, thanks to the generous support of our thousands of donors and their tax-deductible contributions.This article is reprinted with permission.



Comments


More U.S.

The Marriage Meme of Francis: What Did the Pope Just Say about Marriage and Family? Watch

Image of Pope Francis presiding at a marriage Liturgy at St Peters.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Pope Francis embraces the unchangeable truth about marriage as solely between one man and one woman, intended for life, open to life and formative of family as the sole Meme - using the word properly.  That is why you will not read much about the crystal ... continue reading


What is 'vape?' The Oxford Dictionary proclaims it the new word for 2014 Watch

Image of Even while media outlets, health organizations and scientific studies continue to debate the benefits and pitfalls of e-cigarettes,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What does the word "vape" mean? Before anyone jumps to negative conclusions and think that it means something untoward - rest assured: vape is both a noun and verb, according to the Oxford Dictionary. They've gone as far as to proclaim vape as their new word of ... continue reading


Meet the doll that's flipping the world upside down! Watch

Image of Lammily, is a new doll that is proportioned just like the average American 19-year old woman.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A simple art project by a graphic designer has become the most coveted toy for the 2014 Christmas season following its November 19 release. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Nickolay Lamm made a doll he named Lammily, who is what Barbie would look like if she was ... continue reading


The Bloody Battle of Tarawa in 20 extraordinary photos Watch

Image of U.S. Marines advance while under fire from Japanese defensive positions.

By Robert Mullen (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Battle of Tarawa was one of the bloodiest and costliest battles to the U.S. in WWII in terms of men lost per time spent in combat. During the 76 hour battle from November 20-23, 1943, on that small Pacific Island, about 1,700 U.S. personnel were killed, and ... continue reading


What's the biggest danger to America? It's not nukes and it isn't terrorism Watch

Image of China is well known to have an extensive cyberwarfare program, and often utilizes civilian hackers as well as its own military personnel.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The head of the National Security Agency revealed to a Congressional panel that China and "probably one or two other" countries have the ability to shut down the nation's power grid and other critical infrastructures through cyberwarfare. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Massive collection of Catholic artifacts leave Italy for the first time in 700 years: Their destination? The Big Apple! Watch

Image of For the first time in 700 years, artifacts of St. Francis of Assisi will be removed from Italy. They will be put on display in New York during November, December and January.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An exhibit of medieval manuscripts and papal documents that have close ties with St. Francis of Assisi will be held at the United Nations in New York from November 17 to the 28. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The exhibition is titled "Friar Francis: Traces, ... continue reading


Obama gives amnesty while bracing for next 'surge' of illegals in 2015 Watch

Image of Children in holding facilities during 2014, a year where the surge of illegal children occurred.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While President Obama has revealed his plans to shield about five million illegal immigrants from deportation, he has federal agencies getting ready for another mass surge of illegal immigrants during the spring of 2015. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As ... continue reading


Obama declares all out war on Republicans over immigration reform Watch

Image of President Obama is expected to give a speech on November 20, outlining his plans to execute immigration reform via executive action.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Even after warnings from sitting and incoming House and Senate Republicans that unilateral action on immigration reform from President Barack Obama would not be tolerated, the president has gone ahead and outlined a plan to relax the rules and regulations of U.S. ... continue reading


Another black eye for Democrats: Obamacare architect makes off with $6 million in taxpayer money Watch

Image of New videos released in November show that the architect behind the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, holds nothing but contempt for the American people.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The architect of the fiasco that has been the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Jonathan Gruber, was paid about $6 million in taxpayer money between 2009 and 2014. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This is about 24 times what an average, full-time American worker would ... continue reading


See the list of MOST FREE countries in the world, the results will surprise you! Watch

Image of Land of the Free no more, Americans report a significant decline in personal freedom under the Obama administration.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

America is supposed to be the land of the free, so Americans themselves might be surprised to see that the United States actually ranks fairly low on the index of personal freedom when compared to other nations. Instead of occupying the number 1 spot, the USA has ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17
11 "For the Lord Yahweh says this: Look, I myself ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 23:1-2, 2-3, 5, 6
1 [Psalm Of David] Yahweh is my shepherd, I lack ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 25:31-46
31 'When the Son of man comes in his glory, escorted ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 15:20-26, 28
20 In fact, however, Christ has been raised from the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 23rd, 2014 Image

Bl. Miguel Pro
November 23: Born on January 13, 1891 in Guadalupe, Mexico, Miguel Agustin ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter