Category ►►► Argumentum ad Nauseam
June 14, 2011
As Gomer Pyle Would Say...
Follow-up to our post Monday about Chief Judge James Ware, former Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker, and Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau: To nobody's astonishment, Judge Ware decided not to vacate the risible ruling of his close buddy and predecessor in the post of Chief Judge of the Northern District of California... despite the extreme personal interest Judge Walker had in the outcome of the case he decided.
Rather, Walker's ten-year relationship with a same-sex partner, coupled with his decision to throw out a citizen's initiative that was passed by California voters (twice!) to restrict marriage to one man, one woman, and therefore allow a class of people that includes Judge Walker himself to marry their same-sex partners, stands as an eternal monument to the limits of judicial impartiality.
Simply put, federal judges need to recuse themselves from a case if and only if two criteria are met:
- The case poses a conflict of interest for the judge; and,
- The judge has no interest whatsoever in the case -- because otherwise he will hear it himself to make darn sure the decision lands on the side that personally benefits the judge himself.
Just demonstrate that both these two conditions are met, and the judge will happily recuse himself without waiting for another thing.
By the way, I hope you understand the bombshell of Judge Walker's ruling: If the Supreme Court ultimately affirms this decision, then they will have held that the U.S. Constitution mandates that every state, county, city, village, hamlet, and farm in the United States adopt same-sex marriage, because that is what the Founding Fathers intended all along.
I think you might have a stake in this decision, even if you don't live in the Northern District of California -- that is, in San Francisco.
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