The Corner

Putting California Voters on Trial

Here’s my column on the Prop 8 trial. As Ed Whelan ably points out, the trial judge is in the tank for gay marriage, judging by the one-sided burdens he has imposed on the supporters of Prop 8, which make no constitutional sense.

Judge Vaughn Walker has ruled that the private intentions — which were never communicated to voters — of Protect Marriage campaign members could be the legitimate subject of a trial. Dozens of people I know in California have had all their e-mails and personal correspondence subpoenaed in an exercise that raises considerably the costs of participating in the democratic process, and for no constitutional purpose: Prop 8 was not passed by Protect Marriage; it was passed by 7 million voters. What’s really on trial is the rationality of their decision.

And why is the trial being televised, given that so many Californians have already been subjected to what the Heritage Foundation calls ”harassment, intimidation, vandalism, racial scapegoating, blacklisting, loss of employment, economic hardships, angry protests, violence, at least one death threat, and gross expressions of anti-religious bigotry”?

Who will stand up for the core civil rights of the people of California and the rest of the U.S. to participate in democracy without fear? Not Judge Walker.

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