Prop. 8 is about all of us
Last week, Judge James S. Ware rejected the Proposition 8 backers’ claim that the verdict overturning Prop. 8 should be vacated because Judge Vaughn R. Walker is gay.
Make no mistake; there is no substitute for reading the actual documents. If all you know about this case is from the media, then you don’t know what happened.
The evidence and the record matter. Those are the facts, not some interpretation thereof. Here is what I believe to be the most salient point made by Judge Ware in his decision (emphasis added):
“The fact that this is a case challenging a law on equal protection and due process grounds being prosecuted by members of a minority group does not mean that members of the minority group have a greater interest in equal protection and due process than the rest of society. In our society, a variety of citizens of different backgrounds coexist because we have constitutionally bound ourselves to protect the fundamental rights of one another from being violated by unlawful treatment. Thus, we all have an equal stake in a case that challenges the constitutionality of a restriction on a fundamental right. One of the duties placed on the shoulders of federal judges is the obligation to review the law to determine when unequal treatment violates our Constitution and when it does not. To the extent that a law is adjudged violative, enjoining enforcement of that law is a public good that benefits all in our society equally. Although this case was filed by same-sex couples seeking to end a California constitutional restriction on their right to marry, all Californians have an equal interest in the outcome of the case. The single characteristic that Judge Walker shares with the Plaintiffs, albeit one that might not have been shared with the majority of Californians, gave him no greater interest in a proper decision on the merits than would exist for any other judge or citizen.”
Get it? On issues of equal protection and due process, we all have an equal interest in the outcome of the case.
It doesn’t matter if the case is specifically about equal protection and due process for racial minorities, for women, for those accused of a crime, for immigrants or for gay people.
If it is about equal protection and due process, it is about all of us, and we all have an interest.
Compiled from Kel’s Hot Flash.