A Pleasure Deferred

by Gerard V. Bradley

Because there are so much bigger fish to fry today, I shall simply invite readers to savor at their leisure footnote 7 of Justice Alitos’ dissenting opinion.  There he delivers a much-deserved rebuke to the man who reigned over the Prop 8 trial, since-retired District Judge Vaughn Walker. 

Here is a foretaste of what lies in store (all from that long, delicious footnote):

At times, the trial reached the heights of parody, as when the trial judge questioned his ability to take into account the views of great thinkers of the past because they were unavailable to testify in person in his courtroom.

And, if this spectacle were not enough, some professors of constitutional law argued that we [Justices of the Supreme Court] are bound to accept the trial judge’s findings  – including those on major philosophical questions and predictions about the future – unless they are ‘clearly erroneous’….Only an arrogant legal culture that has lost all appreciation of its own limitations could take such a suggestion seriously.