Noted conservative lawyer and NRO legal contributor Ed Whelan tears into the Chief Judge of the Northern District of California, Vaughn Walker (a Bush I appointee), who is about to begin trial on the same-sex marriage case brought by Ted Olsen and David Boies.
Let's see --
1. He calls it a "show trial."
2. He says Judge Walker just wants publicity and is seeking to convert the proceedings into a
"high-profile, culture-transforming, history-making, Scopes-style show trial of Proposition 8’s sponsors. Specifically, Walker is rushing to override longstanding prohibitions on televised coverage of federal trials so that he can authorize televised coverage of the Proposition 8 trial. Televised coverage would generate much greater publicity for ringmaster Walker’s circus."3. He says Judge Walker "wants to stack the deck against Proposition 8" and "has resorted to procedural shenanigans and outright illegality."
4. He says Judge Walker's acts are "in plain violation" of the rules prohibiting broadcasting federal trials and the "obvious purpose" of Judge Walker's actions is to subvert those rules (even though Whelan concedes that Judge Walker may be in "technical compliance" with the relevant federal statute).
5. He calls Judge Walker's actions "kangaroo-court procedures."
6. Whelan says "[o]nly an idiot or a hardened ideological advocate for same-sex marriage — and Walker is no idiot — would imagine that the Proposition 8 case is a good candidate for the program."
7. Whelan concludes that "[i]f Judge Walker persists in failing to recognize that elementary fact, the national civics lesson that he will be providing is yet another reminder that too many of our federal judges willfully abuse their authority in order to advance their own political agendas."
8. For good measure, Whelan did a follow up post, lamenting that "[t]here’s no end to Judge Vaughn Walker’s shameless procedural shenanigans" and that "the only 'immediate need' is for Walker to disqualify himself for his patent lack of impartiality — or for some higher court to step in."
You know, just to be safe, I'm gonna take another long look at Judge Zloch's order.