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.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More U.S.

Crackdown by federal agents on 'Pill Mills' in four southern states Watch

Image of An average of 44 people in the U.S. dies every day from opioids. These drugs include Vicodin, OxyContin and Percocet.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Drug Enforcement Administration and other authorities are raiding pharmacies, pain clinics and other facilities in four southern U.S. states. It is all part of an aggressive crackdown on prescription pain drug abuse. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Matt C. Abbott: Why I wrote Pope Francis about an exorcist

Image of Father William S. Bowdern, S.J. Father Bowdern was the chief exorcist in the 1949 exorcism of Robbie, the teenaged boy whose case inspired William Peter Blatty's 1971 novel The Exorcist, which subsequently was made into a feature film.

By Matt C. Abbott

Here's one name I haven't heard mentioned in regard to possible canonization, yet it seems he'd be a good candidate: Father William S. Bowdern, S.J. Father Bowdern, who was born in 1897 and died in 1983, was the chief exorcist in the 1949 exorcism of "Robbie," ... continue reading


FBI lectures High school students on resisting ISIS recruitment Watch

Image of The FBI is planning to take its message to other schools in the Tri-State Area to reach kids at critical adolescent ages.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

High school students at Bergen County School, in Bergen County, New Jersey got a surprise lecture from FBI agents. They warned students away from sophisticated new techniques used by Islamic State to join their ranks. In particular, a new ISIS-produced video ... continue reading


Bin Laden's secret files: What we found and what's been released Watch

Image of The U.S. Department of National Intelligence has released a report of documents that were captured during the May 1, 2011 raid in Pakistan that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S. government has begun declassifying and releasing documents that were captured during the 2011 raid of Osama bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan, and some of what has been released shows that America's number one enemy for almost a decade was obsessed with ... continue reading


Are there weapons aboard? U.S. Air Force space shuttle's secret contents no longer a secret Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S. Air Force's X-37B space shuttle, launched into Earth's orbit, was revealed not to contain weapons as many feared. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - According to the published manifest, the space shuttle carries a new form of Hall ion-powered ... continue reading


Catholic University removes insensitive mural honoring convicted killer Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Marquette University in Wisconsin has officially taken down a mural of Assata Shakur, one of the FBI's most wanted. Shakur was convicted of killing a state trooper in New Jersey before fleeing to Cuba in 1973. The Catholic university's authorities were warned of the ... continue reading


As John Wayne would say, YO! America's biggest ranch up for sale for $725 million Watch

Image of  The Waggoner Ranch includes the 510,000-acre ranch spread over six North Texas counties, with two main compounds, hundreds of homes, about 20 cowboy camps, hundreds of quarter horses, thousands of heads of cattle, and 30,000 acres of cultivated land.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Waggoner Ranch, America's biggest ranch stretches over 510,000 continuous acres, or 796 square miles, making it a plot of land bigger than the island of Oahu and New York City. It is up for sale for $725 million. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Realtors are hoping ... continue reading


See what is REALLY killing Americans with macabre 'Death Map' Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While heart disease and cancer are the most common killers in the United States, a new map proves that these causes vary from state to state. Said "Death Map" shows the most distinctive cause of death, which is the rate higher than the national average. LOS ... continue reading


What will Boston Marathon bomber face in Supermax prison, described as 'worse than death?' Watch

Image of Inmates have little to no contact outside of guards and prison staff. All prisoners must wear leg irons, handcuffs and stomach chains when taken outside their cells.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

ADX, the nation's most secure "Supermax" prison in Florence, Colorado may be getting another inmate shortly: 21-year-old Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev may get life in prison - or if he's given the death penalty, a brief stay in Terre Haute, Indiana ... continue reading


Has OPEC won the oil war? Oil prices rebound after shale market collapse Watch

Image of The first battle between OPEC and the U.S. over the oil market may be over, but don't count the U.S. out just yet.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Saudi Arabia's strategy of flooding the global markets with oil in an effort to hamper production by rivals such as Russia, the U.S. and other non-OPEC countries seems to be working. The oil producing giant has produced a little more than 10 million barrels of ... 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, Acts 25:13-21
13 Some days later King Agrippa and Bernice arrived ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20
1 [Of David] Bless Yahweh, my soul, from the depths ... Read More

Gospel, John 21:15-19
15 When they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 22nd, 2015 Image

St. Rita
May 22: St. Rita was born at Spoleto, Italy in 1381. At an early age, ... 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