Proponents of the Proposition 8 gay marriage ban are appealing a federal judge’s refusal to vacate Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling on the measure, because, as they have argued, the decision represents a conflict of interest because Walker is gay.
Reuters reports that Matthew McGill, who is representing two same-sex couples challenging the measure, called the appeal part of a “smear campaign” against Walker.
“The only thing surprising about this development is doing so in the face of such a well-reasoned opinion,” McGill said.
Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge James Ware rejected a bid by supporters of Prop 8, California’s ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriages, to overturn Walker’s ruling. “It is not reasonable to presume that a judge is incapable of making an impartial decision about the constitutionality of a law, solely because, as a citizen, the judge could be affected by the proceedings,” he wrote.
Supporters of the measure filed a motion in April to overturn the ruling after Walker confirmed that he is gay, and has a same-sex partner. They argued that it goes against “the judiciary’s strict fidelity to the ancient maxim that ‘no man can be a judge in his own case and no man is permitted to try cases where he has an interest in the outcome.’”