Bench Memos

Judge Walker’s Wild Witchhunt—Part 3

Even if it were proper for Judge Walker to try to discern the subjective motivations of California’s voters in adopting Prop 8, there is no basis for Walker’s peculiar and convenient assumption that the messages of Prop 8’s sponsors played some determinative role in shaping a voter’s decision to vote for Prop 8. 

In his oral ruling at the summary-judgment hearing, Walker, in explaining why trial was supposedly necessary on the issue of discriminatory intent, stated:

Plaintiffs point to evidence of the disconnect between the Proposition 8 campaign messages, [on the one hand,] and the state interests claimed[, on the other,] to argue that whether Proposition 8 was passed with a discriminatory intent remains in dispute.

Given all the discussion about Prop 8 in newspapers, on television and radio, among friends and neighbors, and on the Internet, what possible basis is there for giving central importance to this purported disconnect between the messages of Prop 8’s sponsors and the state interests that Prop 8 advances? 

See parts 1 and 2

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