Proposition 8 has been debated in court since the 2008 elections. The last ruling on it came last summer by Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker. He ruled that the measure was an unconstitutional violation of gay Californian’s civil rights.
The current argument revolving around Proposition 8 has nothing to do with whether same-sex marriage is constitutional or not, but whether the decision made by Walker last summer is valid because he is gay.
Supporters of Proposition 8 are now asking the judge, who took over at the end of February after Walker retired, to allow for another hearing because Walker must have a bias.
Chief Judge James Ware, the new district judge, should not agree to start the trial anew and toss out the existing ruling.
During the hearing there were many speculations on Walker’s sexual orientation, but Walker declined to comment on his sexual orientation so the issue was not brought up in court.
However on April 6, Walker spoke about how he and his partner have been in a relationship for the past 10 years.
Walker has said that when he was taking on the trial he never considered stepping down from the case because he did not think his sexual orientation hindered his ability to fairly judge the case.
There are a variety of cases that involve controversial issues that bring in personal beliefs of citizens, lawyers and the people defending and opposing the case.
All judges put aside their personal beliefs in order to rule the case with a decision based purely on fact and law every day in court.
Walker did not do anything that does not happen every day in other cases in deciding to stay on the Proposition 8 trial.
He did not rule the case based on his personal beliefs but on what the two sides of the case brought to the argument.
There is no proof that he made his decision on anything besides that. In this way, his judgment should not be grounds for a new trial just like the ruling from a judge of a different gender or race would not be.
Even though people are saying that he could be bias because he is gay, straight judges have ruled on this case in the past and they can be accused of being just as bias in support of the proposition.
They were not questioned on whether or not they could fairly judge the case.
Furthermore, declaring that the previous ruling is invalid would clearly be a bad ethical decision because of the how it would reflect on the California judicial system.
By declaring the last ruling invalid, the court system would be easily diminished.
It would give the judges no real power if their decisions could be tossed out if other judges come on the case.
It would also send a message that any judge that belongs to a minority group is not capable of judging any case that involves a minority situation.
Judges that are elected to positions in a state or federal court have already proven to the public that they are capable of putting aside their personal beliefs to rule fairly on trials.
Judge Walker believing in himself to fairly try the case should be accepted and not questioned.
Judge Ware needs to deny the claims made by the supporters of Proposition 8 and leave the ruling as it stood before.