Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Pete Winn

9/18/2012 (1 year 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

Article Highlights

By Pete Winn

CNSNews (www.cnsnews.com)

9/18/2012 (1 year 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.

Alabama Supreme Court Recognizes Child in the Womb Has Fundamental Rights

Image of The Alabama Supreme Court

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Because a human life with a full genetic endowment comes into existence at the moment of conception, the self-evident truth that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights encompasses the moment of conception. Legal ... continue reading


Help Make the Story of the Serial Killer/Abortionist Kermit Gosnell Into a Movie Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

In 1852, the great abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass was invited to speak on the Fourth of July and delivered the now famous speech entitled What to the Slave is the Fourth of July. Here is a stirring quote from that famous speech: 'For it is not light that ... continue reading


Their Eyes Were Opened: Walk With Jesus on the Road to Emmaus Watch

Image of On the Road to Emmaus: In the light of the encounter with the Lord in the breaking of the bread, their eyes were opened. So it is meant to be with each one of us. The Holy Eucharist is more than a commemoration; it is an invitation into communion with the Living God - right now because Jesus Christ is Risen from the dead and walks with us on the road of life.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

We are those disciples on the road to Emmaus, living our lives in the real world, walking along with Jesus who is always there accompanying us on the road, whether we recognize Him or not. He listens to us, and understands us, because he became like us, in "all ... continue reading


Made for Beauty: Liturgy and Music

Image of

By Deal W. Hudson

Some might flinch at my use of the word "satisfying" to describe a liturgy, but I used it deliberately because I want to think aloud about the fact that we were made for beauty as much as we were made for goodness and truth.  To be satisfied by the shape, ... continue reading


'COME AND TAKE IT' Texas AG blasts BLM scheming to seize state land, threatens fight Watch

Image of Texans are rallying against the federal government and its habitual overreach.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A major land war between the Bureau of Land Management and the state of Texas is brewing as Texas lawmakers push back against the feds plan to seize 90,000 acres of land along the Texas/Oklahoma border. AUSTIN, TEXAS (Catholic Online) - The Bureau of Land Management ... continue reading


SHOCKING NEW TWIST: Autistic boy defends teenage girls who filmed his sexual assault Watch

Image of The parents of the victim are insistent that they want their son's abuser, 17-year-old Lauren A. Bush to be tried as an adult.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Abused beyond belief by two teenage girls, who filmed their despicable activities with their cellphones, a 16-year-old autistic boy now says he doesn't want to press charges against them - concerned that it would damage their - "friendship?" LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Time to Live the Easter Way of Life Watch

Image of Easter is more than a Day; it is a way of living our lives in Jesus Christ. Darkness has been scattered by the Light which broke forth from that empty tomb. That Light is meant to infuse our daily lives with the radiance of Resurrected love.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The early Christians lived their lives in the Lord, for the sake of the world. They exhibited a holy boldness; because they internalized the faith they professed and allowed it to transform every aspect of their lives. They experienced the transforming power of ... continue reading


50,000-strong OK Militia declares they will resist federal takeover attempts Watch

Image of The Oklahoma Militia is ready to defend property against unlawful federal seizure.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An Oklahoma militia which claims the allegiance of 50,000 members has sided with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy in his recent clash against the feds. Although the standoff appears to be over, and is not likely to resume, the militia says it is ready to defend the rights ... continue reading


BLOODY EASTER WEEKEND IN CHICAGO: Six children shot in widespread violence Watch

Image of Five of the six children wounded, aged from 11 to 15 years, were shot during a drive-by shooting Sunday night.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With 36 people wounded, and nine people dead, it was one of the most violent Easter weekends in Chicago within recent memory. Far more shocking was the fact that six young children were among those injured. Gang violence remains prevalent on Chicago's windy ... continue reading


Militant atheist organization seeks to ban schools from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance Watch

Image of The AHA says that the line

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An organization of militant atheists is suing a New Jersey school district of discrimination, on the behalf of a family who take offense to the line "Under God," within the Pledge of Allegiance. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The lawsuit against the ... 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 3:11-26
11 Everyone came running towards them in great ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 8:2, 5, 6-7, 8-9
2 even through the mouths of children, or of babes in ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:35-48
35 Then they told their story of what had happened on ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 24th, 2014 Image

St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen
April 24: Franciscan Capuchin martyr. He was born Mark Rey is Sigmaringen, ... 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