Walker Rejects Stay Request

Unbelievable:  Judge Walker has denied the motion of Prop 8 proponents for a stay of his wild ruling against Prop 8 (with the exception of a stay for a limited time—until 5 p.m. on August 18—to enable proponents to seek Ninth Circuit review of the denial).  In other words, he’s trying to implement same-sex marriage immediately—not only in the face of the more than seven million California citizens who voted for Prop 8 but also in an obvious effort to undermine the availability of appellate review as a meaningful corrective.

The heart of Walker’s rationale is that Prop 8 proponents may not even have standing to appeal.  But if they don’t have standing to appeal, how did they have a right to intervene as defendants to present the defense of Prop 8?  Why didn’t Walker simply enter a stipulated judgment (update: or more properly, as I hope to discuss more fully soon, dismiss plaintiffs’ case) when the state defendants abandoned their duty to defend Prop 8?  The obvious reason is that state law recognizes that a proposition’s proponents have authority to defend the proposition, lest government officials subvert the ultimate power that the proposition process places in the people.  That authority necessarily must confer standing to appeal an adverse decision.  (Update:  I hope to amplify this point soon.)

Walker’s action screams for reversal by the Ninth Circuit.  If that (alas, notoriously unreliable) court refuses to impose a stay pending appeal, then it will be up to the Supreme Court to, once again, put an end to Walker’s lawlessness—this time, I would think, unanimously.  (Yes, I think that even those justices who may be inclined to invent a federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage will be appalled by Walker’s disregard of precedents, his absurdly biased “factfinding,” and his effort to thwart meaningful appeal.)

I expect that Prop 8 proponents will file soon with the Ninth Circuit a motion for a stay pending appeal.  I will plan to track developments closely and report on them here.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More