Original Prop 8 judge 'feels good' to have decision affirmed

June 26, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The retired federal district judge who originally ruled Proposition 8 unconstitutional in 2010 says it feels good to have his decision affirmed by the Supreme Court. Judge Vaughn Walker spoke to ABC7 News in first interview since the Supreme Court's decision.

"I think any judge whose decision is ultimately affirmed or is upheld in some fashion feels a sense of satisfaction," Walker said. "This decision by the Supreme Court has the effect of, as interpreted by the governor, I believe now, of establishing the right of same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses in California. That probably will be litigated."

As the plaintiffs' in the Proposition 8 case walked out of the Supreme Court, Walker says he learned his ruling was upheld by the high court as he was at the gym.

"I was not surprised," said Walker.

In the course of the trial, Walker's personal life was also scrutinized when it was revealed that he has been involved in a long term same-sex relationship.

Quintana: "Put it into context about all the personal things that have come up about you."
Walker: "Well, I didn't bring up those personal matters. And it's not unusual for judges to be in a situation where some aspect of their personal life is thought to play a role in their judicial decisions."

In 2010, he ruled Proposition 8 was unconstitutional and on Wednesday the Supreme Court reverted to his ruling. The Bay Area couple, who are co-plaintiff's, joined a rally in West Hollywood Wednesday afternoon.

"Good news. We got something really important today at the Supreme Court, we got a victory in California and we got a victory in the United States of America," said Sandra Stier, a co-plaintiff.

The justices said defenders of Prop 8 had no legal standing to bring an appeal.

"We're disappointed about the Supreme Court's decision on standing, but we are happy that Proposition 8 does remain the law of the State of California," said Austin Nimocks, a defender of Prop 8.

On Wednesday Gov. Jerry Brown directed county clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples as soon as possible. But walker says legal battles might continue.

"I would imagine that there very well may be a county clerk in some county that may attempt to challenge what I understand of the governor's directive," said Walker.

You can watch Walker's entire interview here.


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