Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Mainstream newspaper editorials: Proposition 8 Judge does not need to vacate the ruling, does not have a "conflict of interest"

The media is filled with buzz about Judge Vaughn Walker, the judge who struck down California’s referendum-driven Proposition 8.  That is not only because the judge is gay, but because he is in a relationship and could stand to benefit economically by the ruling.

The Washington Post ran an editorial May 1, saying “there is no proof that Judge Walker reached these conclusions based on anything other than a good-faith interpretation of the law.” The link is here.   Sandhya Somashekhar has a detailed followup story in the Wednesday, May 4 Post, front page.  Generally, appeals courts are reluctant to vacate rulings because of supposed personal biases of judges allegedly linked to their own traits.

On May 3, the New York Times ran a similar editorial here (yup, you need to honor the paywall).

But conflict of interest in other areas of judiciary is showing up, as I noted in a story in my “BillBoushka” blog on April 25.  And back in the 1990s, I thought that continuing to work for a portion of a corporation that focused on serving the military while publishing my own book on “don’t ask don’t tell” (as it was then) was a conflict of interest, and transferred, leading to my move to Minneapolis. 

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