Three months ago now-retired Prop 8 Judge Vaughn Walker emailed Ted Olson to ask whether he should attend next week’s oral arguments at the Supreme Court. Armed (somehow) with a copy of that email, Protect Marriage is claiming that Walker’s request demonstrates “the cozy relationship between Walker and our opponents, casting even more doubt on the legitimacy of Walker’s one-sided and unprecedented handling of the 2010 trial against Prop 8.” This news comes via a breathless “breaking” alert from Protect Marriage which links to a website that reports the story with this disclaimer:
This blog post is a piece of journalism, breaking a story that should be of public interest regarding the conduct of a former jurist on a significant case. This site does not advocate an anti-gay rights agenda, and the proprietor of this web site is a supporter of gay marriage (although he disapproves of the imposition of gay marriage on society through judicial fiat).
Nor does this web site assert that Walker, Olson, or Olson’s partner has engaged in any breach of legal ethics. Walker’s views on the decision are no secret: he has spoken since retirement of his belief that the case was appropriately brought and that his decision was correct. It is not shocking that a judge would defend a decision he has already made.
But the behavior of Walker, as revealed by these emails, creates the appearance of a partisan rather than an impartial former jurist who simply believes he issued a correct ruling. Walker was so invested in his ruling that he wanted to watch the appellate courts’ argument himself. He went out of his way to make sure that he consulted with the winning side to help them prevail in the appellate courts.
Meh. This is nothing.