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Experts: Gay Judges Can Rule on Gay Cases

Experts: Gay Judges Can Rule on Gay Cases


A June 13 hearing will decide whether former federal judge Vaughn Walker, who is gay and partnered, had a conflict of interest when he struck down California's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Proponents of Proposition 8 are trying to get the 2010 decision thrown out on the basis that Walker was gay and settled down with a longtime partner (Walker's decision is currently tied up in a federal appeals court). Most legal experts tell the Los Angeles Times that Walker had every right to preside over the trial, but some believe that he could have been more up-front about his status as a partnered gay man at the beginning of the trial.

"A judge should always disclose facts that are not publicly available, as in public financial disclosure filings, to give the parties a chance to seek recusal," New York University Law School professor Stephen Gillers told the Times. Gillers believes Walker should have recused himself only if he was seeking to marry his partner in California.

Read the full story here.

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