FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 2, 2012
Contact: Anath Hartmann or Elizabeth Ray (703-683-5004)
"This is yet another example where the higher courts have had to reign in the rogue judge, Vaughn Walker."— Brian Brown
Washington, DC—The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today applauded the unanimous decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to overrule a lower court decision that would have allowed the public broadcast of the Proposition 8 trial even though former Chief Judge Vaughn Walker promised he would only use the recording for his own use in chambers. The court ordered the recording to be sealed and prohibited the lower courts from returning a copy to Walker.
"This is yet another example where the higher courts have had to reign in the rogue judge, Vaughn Walker," said Brian Brown, NOM's president. "Walker's bias in the Proposition 8 case was so pervasive that it infected his rulings throughout the trial. This is at least the third time that higher courts have had to overrule him on critical decisions. We applaud the Ninth Circuit for doing so."
In violation of court rules, Judge Walker ordered the Proposition 8 trial to be recorded for world-wide broadcast over the objections of the proponents of the initiative, who told the court many of their witnesses would refuse to testify. On the morning of trial, the US Supreme Court stepped in to block the broadcast of the trial. His broadcast plans dashed, Walker continued recording the trial but pledged that the recording would only be used by him in chambers to help prepare his decision. However, after he issued his decision and announced his retirement, Walker began using the recording as a prop in speaking engagements, and those challenging the initiative demanded that the recording be publicly released for broadcast. Walker also announced that he has been in a ten-year same-sex relationship.
"You know a federal judge like Vaughn Walker is way out of line when even the Ninth Circuit, the most liberal court in the country, is forced to step in to prevent a miscarriage of justice," said Brown. "The only time those who are challenging Prop 8 have won a decision is when it was before the rogue judge Walker. Once higher authorities have examined the facts, they have reversed Walker time and again. We are confident that we will eventually win on the merits of Prop 8 as well and that it will be upheld as a validly enacted and appropriate constitutional amendment."
To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray (x130), [email protected], or Anath Hartmann,[email protected], at 703-683-5004