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08/05/2010

Maggie: How dare this one (Republican-appointed) man do his job?!?

by Jeremy Hooper

Maggie-GallagherTwice already today, we've heard our ol' poker buddy Maggie Gallagher pit "one lone judge," Vaughn Walker, against the 7,001,084 Californians who voted in favor of Proposition 8. But of course she never once mentions the 6,410,482 residents who cast a principled vote against discrimination. And that is a completely anti-intellectual oversight that truly maligns the diversity of the California population!

The 2008 election brought 79.42% of Californians to the polls. 97.52% of the cast votes turned out to be valid. 52.24% went in favor of marital Screen Shot 2010-08-04 At 8.17.52 Pm-1discrimination, and 47.76% went in favor of preserving basic civil fairness. Those are not the figures of a state that declared a definitive war against gays and their ring fingers. Instead, they are figures from a state that was ripped in half by a cruel, unnecessary, and unprovoked campaign against a vulnerable minority population who had more than made their case in the state Supreme Court. A campaign that we on the pro-equality side always felt was completely un-American and unconstitutional. A campaign that a growing body of legal scholars and laypeople alike are starting to see in the same light. A campaign where Maggie Gallagher was front and center, doing everything in her power to reject equal citizenship IN A STATE WHERE SHE ISN'T EVEN A CITIZEN!

Screen Shot 2010-08-04 At 8.18.15 Pm-1So back to this "one judge" thing: Yes, one judge wrote this 136-page decision. Because that's the way the judiciary is set up. But Vaughn Walker was not declaring war on one "side" or the other. The politics, while oh-so-popular with the talking point-laden troops who foment this "culture war," are not and should not be the basis of this or any ruling! Walker's pen strokes came from his education, consideration of the presented testimony (which even the anti-LGBT side saw as weak), and analysis of the facts of both Proposition 8 and the civil realities of the constitutional representative democracy/federal republic that we call America. These are the reasoned sources from whence Walker's decision came, despite the far-right's insistence otherwise.

Screen Shot 2010-08-04 At 8.17.41 Pm-1So Maggie Gallagher might think that this was all handled improperly, and that the marginal majority who voted in favor of rolling back a civil right holds some sort of superiority that makes them immune from judicial scrutiny. Fortunately the three-chambered government and its supporters hold differing opinions. Differing opinions concerning not only the proper role of the independent judiciary in protecting minority rights from unjust majority tyranny, but also involving the conversation of which portion of the population has truly been maligned by this historical fiasco that we call Prop 8!

***

*RELATED: Judge Walker's Prop 8 decision

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