Imagine, for a moment, that there was a court case involving something like the posting the Ten Commandments in a government facility or opening of government sessions with Christian prayer or marriage equality and that the case was being heard by a judge who was reported to be a rather devout and committed Christian.
Now imagine what the reaction would be from the Religious Right if liberals started demanding that said judge publicly acknowledge their faith and recuse them self from the case because their deeply-held personal beliefs constituted a conflict of interest.
Do you think that the Right would throw an absolute fit and start screaming about bigotry and discrimination?
Prop. 8 was approved by California voters in November 2008 to overturn an earlier state Supreme Court ruling that legalized homosexual “marriage,” but a San Francisco newspaper recently “outed” Judge Vaughn Walker as a homosexual. Matt Barber, attorney and director of cultural affairs at Liberty Counsel, believes Walker ought to resign from the case if the allegation is true.
The Liberty Counsel attorney cites from federal law that “a judge shall disqualify himself when he knows that he has a financial or any other interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding,” and he argues that if Walker is a homosexual and overturns Prop. 8, he would benefit by granting himself the right to marry a man. Given that effect, Barber decides that hardly represents impartiality.
He goes on to report that Judge Walker has been silent since the newspaper claim was published. “Well, the judge has said, ‘No comment’ when asked about his sexual lifestyle,” explains the Liberty Counsel attorney. “I think he needs to comment. If in fact he is engaged in the homosexual lifestyle, there is a clear conflict of interest here under federal law.”