Monday, February 8, 2010
The San Francisco Chronicle reported yesterday that the federal judge who will issue the much-anticipated decision in California's Prop 8 trial (which we have blogged about here, here, and here) is gay.
Walker has declined to talk about anything involving the Prop. 8 case outside court, and he wouldn't comment to us when we asked about his orientation and whether it was relevant to the lawsuit.
Shortly after our conversation, we heard from a federal judge who counts himself as a friend and confidant of Walker's. He said he had spoken with Walker and was concerned that "people will come to the conclusion that (Walker) wants to conceal his sexuality."
"He has a private life and he doesn't conceal it, but doesn't think it is relevant to his decisions in any case, and he doesn't bring it to bear in any decisions," said the judge, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the Prop. 8 trial.
"Is it newsworthy?" he said of Walker's orientation, and laughed. "Yes."
He said it was hard to ignore the irony that "in the beginning, when (Walker) sought to be a judge, a major obstacle he had to overcome was the perception that he was anti-gay."
In short, the friend said, Walker's background is relevant in the same way people would want to know that a judge hearing a discrimination case involving Latinos was Latino or a Jewish judge was ruling in a case involving the Anti-Defamation League.
Walker, by the way, didn't seek out the Prop. 8 case - it was assigned to him at random.
If the judge decides that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional, supporters of the measure are sure to take it to the federal appeals court and the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary. Kendell expects that if that happens, the measure's proponents will make an issue of the judge's sexual orientation - at least in the public arena.
Read more here.