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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. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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