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California judge who struck down Proposition 8 to speak in Bloomington

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A former judge who struck down Proposition 8, the California voter initiative banning same-sex marriage, will deliver a lecture titled "On the Bench and in the Game" at Indiana University Maurer School of Law Nov. 3.

Vaughn R. Walker, former chief judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, ruled on Aug. 4, 2010, in Perry v. Schwarzenegger that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional under both the due process and equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution. Proposition 8 was a voter initiative constitutional amendment that eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry.

Walker is the first known gay person to serve as a federal judge. As such, his decision generated controversy not only for its substance, but also because supporters of Proposition 8 asserted that Walker should have recused himself from the case.

A federal judge for 21 years, Walker decided many high-profile cases in civil liberties, securities fraud, national security and other arenas. He retired from the bench in February 2011.

Walker's remarks will draw on his diverse experience and focus on the role of judges in dealing with politically controversial issues. His ability to discuss the Proposition 8 decision will be limited because it is currently being appealed.

Walker's lecture will be followed by commentary from Charles G. Geyh, associate dean for research and John F. Kimberling Professor of Law at the Maurer School of Law, and Judy Failer, IU associate professor of political science.

The lecture will be at 3 p.m. in the Moot Court Room, 211 S. Indiana Ave., Bloomington. A reception will follow in Room 310. Both events are free and open to the public.

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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