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Prop 8 ain’t great

The Prop 8 decision (Judge Walker declared that Proposition 8, banning same-sex marriage in the state of California, is illegal) has been covered rather extensively in the blogosphurr, but here’s a quick round-up of things I’ve seen and liked. From Jason Kuznicki:

I asked myself — couldn’t they have gotten Maggie Gallagher to testify? She comes across as reasonable most of the time. She might have offered one of her frequent catch phrases, that societies that “lose the marriage idea” die out. As a sound bite, it’s frightening and often convincing. But at trial, she’d have been asked the obvious follow-up question — name just one such society — and a moment of hilarity would have ensued, because there aren’t any.

Or she might have said that kids need a mom and a dad. Then she’d have been confronted with the deep dishonesty of many of the studies that are used to disparage gay and lesbian parents. These studies all either extrapolate from single-parent homes to two-parent homes or else fail to control for divorce. Thus they draw conclusions that are pretty obviously doubtful. Comparing two-parent same-sex families with two-parent opposite-sex families and controlling for divorce demonstrates little difference in childrearing outcomes — a point Gallagher commonly avoids at all costs.

A commenter quoted on Andrew Sullivan’s site:
I really, really hate – as in, this is extra special slimy, even for them – the fact that only now, since the Prop 8 proponents have lost, is the whole “he’s gay, should he have recused himself” meme starting to take hold. Folks, if you think your judge should recuse himself, you put on your big boy or girl pants and you file the damn motion. 22 years ago I did a jury trial for a client who was charged with molesting his kid. The judge originally assigned had handled the civil restraining order, and I felt that created bias, so I filed a motion to recuse, which he granted. (By the way, with a different judge, the jury acquitted in 55 minutes.) About a week later, I ran into that judge and started to apologize for the motion. He cut me off before I could finish and he said, “You should never, ever apologize for doing your job. Ever.” The point is this: if you are a good lawyer, and you’ve got grounds, you file that motion. And if you don’t file it, either a) you’re not a good lawyer, or b) you got no grounds in the first place, and you know it.

And the Prop 8 proponents knew it. And didn’t file it. Because there was nothing to file. It’s no more bias to be gay in this case than it would to be African American, Latino, Jewish or female in a discrimination case. This is a smear. And a cowardly smear at that. Nothing less.

I love “put on your big boy or girl pants and you file the damn motion.” I wish I’d gone to law school. Now the right wing has lathered itself up to the point where they believe they can get Judge Walker impeached.
Judge Walker is an open homosexual, and should have recused himself from this case due to his obvious conflict of interest.

What can be done?

Fortunately, the Founders provided checks and balances for every branch of government, including the judicial branch. Federal judges hold office only “during good Behaviour,” and if they violate that standard can be removed from the bench.

Judge Walker’s ruling is not “good Behaviour.” He has exceeded his constitutional authority and engaged in judicial tyranny.

I’m not entirely sure how judging the facts of a case and rendering a decision is not “good Behaviour.” Perhaps they think that being an open homosexual is not “good Behaviour?” You stay classy, American “Family” Association.

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