Patterico's Pontifications

3/23/2013

Prop. 8 Defender Reacts to Yesterday’s Vaughn Walker Email Exposé

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:55 pm

I spoke today to Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, to get his reaction to yesterday’s publication of emails showing Vaughn Walker checking with the pro-gay marriage side concerning whether Walker should attend the upcoming gay marriage arguments in the Supreme Court.

Brown said: “it makes you wonder whether other collusion was going on.” He said that whether or not any ethical rules were technically violated, the emails are “not appropriate in any way, shape, or form.” Brown said that these emails were just another example of Walker’s inappropriate behavior with respect to the case, from his failure to disclose his relationship with a man until after the trial to his decision to broadcast the trial publicly, which the Supreme Court halted as improper.

Brown laughed when I asked him if he was aware whwther the judge had made similar inquiries to anyone defending Prop. 8. Brown said that if Chuck Cooper had received such a request, “people would have heard about it. I don’t think there’s any love lost for Chuck Cooper” on Walker’s part, he said.

Brown said he is “very interested to see if this is the tip of the iceberg.”

And of course it may be. If Vaughn (who has not contacted me or to my knowledge disputed the emails’ authenticity) feels certain that these are the only emails that will emerge, that certainty may be misplaced.

You have not heard the last of this story. The Prop. 8 Legal Defense Fund blasted out the news in a mass email yesterday, and Brown said he plans to mention the controversy in an appearance on Fox News tomorrow. We got a flaming skull yesterday from Ace, and links from Breitbart, Hot Air, Ed Whelan at NRO, and others. The San Francisco Chronicle has a blog entry about it here. I have a feeling word will continue to spread.

54 Responses to “Prop. 8 Defender Reacts to Yesterday’s Vaughn Walker Email Exposé”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (d69505)

  2. Congrats,

    so what anchor spot will you take?

    EPWJ (f44e22)

  3. Word should spread. Why doesn’t someone like Jan Crawford report this?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  4. I’m going to bet the case gets remanded, on no reasoning just voices in my head.

    Ninth to get spanked but covered on page 10 of section D.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  5. Leftists are not bound by the rules that apply to mere mortals. After all, they are superior to us so whatever they think, say and do MUST be right. So who are we to object when our superiors instruct us…

    WarEagle82 (2b7355)

  6. Glad to see word spreading. A bit troubling to see the dismissive tone from one Diane Karpman, a Beverly Hills attorney and longtime commentator on judicial ethics at the San Francisco Chronicle blog linked above,

    He’s a free citizen” and his exchange with the law firm “has no impact on the case,” Karpman said. She said Walker, a former corporate lawyer, is obviously well acquainted with Olson and his megafirm, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, and knows firsthand the quality of Olson’s arguments on Prop. 8. “There would have been nothing improper about Walker’s attending the Supreme Court hearing”, Karpman said, but “he’s so keenly concerned about his role that he’s courteous enough to ask. …All our judges should be like him.”

    Just what sort of behavior from a judge would she consider troubling, at the least?

    It will come down to politics in the jury of public opinion, not the lack of ethical behavior. I would hope that would not be the case if this goes forward legally.

    Dana (292dcf)

  7. Well, if the judge came out against same sex marriage, that would be ‘doubleunplusgood’

    narciso (3fec35)

  8. I applaud Pat for his integrity in reporting this turn of events despite his ultimate agreement that same-sex marriage ought to be legal. Too many people treat court cases as if they are watching sports (or, for that matter, politics), and if their side wins by underhanded methods, “Oh well.”

    If you cheer on victory by dishonest or corrupt people, that’s bad enough. If you cheer victory by dishonest people who exercise authority over you, that’s just stupid.

    L.N. Smithee (b6535d)

  9. I applaud Pat for his integrity in reporting this turn of events despite his ultimate agreement that same-sex marriage ought to be legal.
    Comment by L.N. Smithee (b6535d) — 3/23/2013 @ 11:22 pm

    Ditto that. I think even-handed and fair minded examination of the strongest arguments of your opponents is the way to go if one is being intellectually honest. [Of course, that assumes you believe there is truth that is objective to get at, and believing you are not damaging yourself by willing to admit weaknesses, either or both of which may not be true.]

    I am sure most discussion of this will be spun in the direction of the opinion one holds. For the non-lawyers among us, if the emails do not violate ethics review, we do not know ourselves what constitutes friendly banter among legal people who agree and what is improper.

    To me the strongest part of the story is that they themselves were in favor of having the judge keep a low profile, not to let his role as a potentially conflicted jurist to be brought up for further discussion as the case was being argued.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  10. Oh, there is more to come. You can bet on it. Vaughn Walker is a is a reckless, arrogant, shyster.

    Micky (91f607)

  11. FWIW, I consider Judge Walker’s ex-parte communications with Olson to be very improper. Regardless of whether it was post-judgment and regardless of whether he is now retired. All that means is that he is 1) harder to dsiscipline and 2) the other party has no meaningfull remedy. Remember also, that most judicial ethics codes caution against even the appearance of impropriety.

    I have implicitly solicited the sentencing judge’s opinion in a clemency petition from a mandatory minimum sentence but only by sending him a copy of my petition with a cc of my cover letter to the prosecutor. You leave the judge alone, and he leaves the case alone.

    nk (c5b7ef)

  12. Difficult to discipline but not impossible. Retired judges are often appointed to things like mediation or trusteeships of estates. The District Court can take Walker off those lists.

    nk (c5b7ef)

  13. I’m interested in whether Diane Karpman (linked by Patterico) with pertinent quote by her at comment #6 and author of the California Bar Journal’s “Ethic Bytes” column ( described by said journal as a “legal ethics expert”) is going to be the standard bearer of the legal community’s response to these posts regarding Judge Walker? If so, it would seem an uphill battle to establish any sort of unethical behavior on his part.

    And that leads me to LN’s comment and my own re politics trumping truth: Too many people treat court cases as if they are watching sports (or, for that matter, politics), and if their side wins by underhanded methods, “Oh well.”

    In contrast, Patterico was obviously trusted enough by a source with what could be potentially devastating emails re Judge Walker. That the source knew and was willing to take the risk handing them over to Patterico – in spite of his well-known support of Prop 8 – speaks volumes. IOW, Patterico’s own politics on the matter do not supersede his personal quest for truth – no matter the outcome. And the source knew that to be true.

    If this issue gets traction and is investigated, I doubt we can be assured of such ethics-in-action so that truth can be discovered. The ethics expert Diane Karpman’s statement reinforces my doubt.

    Dana (292dcf)

  14. …and this is further reason why I always trust content from Patterico.

    Dana (292dcf)

  15. 12. I wonder if Boies and Olson don’t have mercy in mind for Walker, the questioning could be brutal.

    The presentations do not necessarily impact a case, and the Court probably can handle this one without one.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  16. If you cheer on victory by dishonest or corrupt people, that’s bad enough. If you cheer victory by dishonest people who exercise authority over you, that’s just stupid.

    That form of decadence is becoming more and more common in this country, and is a major hallmark of some of the most corrupt, dysfunctional societies and communities throughout the world. We as a nation have grown increasingly desensitized to controversies and behavior that would have been shocking — or more shocking — or outrageous years or decades ago.

    Perhaps people like Patterico don’t accept the idea of a natural dumbing down of this nation through things like the embrace of same-sex marriage. Or, perhaps most crucially, they don’t draw a connection between the way that do-gooderism run amok (aka liberalism run amok, closely tied to political correctness run amok) — which includes the matter of uncommon aspects of human sexuality being paraded around via SSM (ie, same-sex marriage becomes okay, which, in turn, gives carte blanche to the over sexualization of society in general, particularly in public schools—because such things are given a lovin’ stamp of approval by our government!).

    But using the example of my own increasingly desensitized reaction to issues, the dumbed-down behavior of Vaughn Walker doesn’t surprise or shock me. Or — this is the kicker — it doesn’t bother me as much as it should. Not in this age of the “meaning of is is,” and certainly not when in the name of do-gooderism run amok, we become inured to the outrageousness of the ends justifying the means.

    I feel that I myself have caught a mild strain of virulent Banana-Republic Disease.

    Mark (d57c6a)

  17. Walker’s emails and the response to them show he’s fully aware his presence at the SCOTUS hearings would be detrimental to the gay marriage cause. Which is exactly why he didn’t recuse himself initially.

    His clear personal conflict of interest in the outcome and his failure to forthrightly disclose it invalidates his reckless decision to overturn a Proposition the voters approved.

    Vaughn Walker is revealed as a gay rights activist masquerading as an impartial adjudicator who arrogantly defied the people in service to a personal ambition.

    ropelight (9de6ec)


  18. Perhaps people like Patterico don’t accept the idea of a natural dumbing down of this nation through things like the embrace of same-sex marriage. Or, perhaps most crucially, they don’t draw a connection between the way that do-gooderism run amok (aka liberalism run amok, closely tied to political correctness run amok) — which includes the matter of uncommon aspects of human sexuality being paraded around via SSM (ie, same-sex marriage becomes okay, which, in turn, gives carte blanche to the over sexualization of society in general, particularly in public schools—because such things are given a lovin’ stamp of approval by our government!).

    Comment by Mark (d57c6a) — 3/24/2013 @ 7:22 am

    While I hesitate to make this about Pat’s libertarian viewpoint on marriage, a perfect example of what you wrote about “over sexualization of society in general, particularly in public schools” can be illustrated by what’s going on in Toronto, where the progressive and activist public schools district has gone to outrageous lengths to foster “gender equity” (h/t Blazing CatFur.) For example, Mark Steyn alerted America to what might be sliding south into American elementary school curricula if current trends continue: Promotion of not only relationships between unmarried and/or gay people, but three-way relationships. Not making it up, folks.

    P.S.: My post’s embedded video of Sun News’ Michael Coren (“The Canadian Bill O’Reilly”) is now unfortunately privatized, but other Coren commentaries on Toronto schools’ hostility to traditional parentage as a societal norm can be found here and here.

    L.N. Smithee (b6535d)

  19. Ah yes, journalism. You know, that thing that used to be done by the Main Stream Media. Congrats Pat on doing the job better than your “betters” <– Tongue firmly in cheek!

    Bill M (c7f289)

  20. This is beyond pathetic.

    High caliber (2107b6)

  21. I take it this is the kind of thing that occupies the small minds of Republicans.

    High caliber (2107b6)

  22. There is nothing “high caliber” about this troll.

    JD (b63a52)

  23. Ruh roh, looks like I woke up the resident junkyard dog.

    High caliber (2107b6)

  24. What’s next?

    Lemme guess:

    How about a post on Senator Menendez and his underage prostitutes?

    High caliber (2107b6)

  25. High Caliber’s mind is being occupied by unemployed Wall Street protesters, thoughts of “free” health care from the state, and fantasies of a college-aged poolboy who works at a hotel on Castro Street in San Francisco.

    Elephant Stone (085268)

  26. Elephant Stone clearly needed to get that random rant off its chest…wonder why?

    High caliber (2107b6)

  27. High Caliber, we’ve barely exchanged pleasantries, and you’re already talking about my chest ?

    Elephant Stone (085268)

  28. Your act is cute. Bless your little heart.

    JD (b63a52)

  29. I guess it’s regarded as “cute” around here when someone points out a monumental FAIL of the lawyer who runs this dirty place.

    And now we are to believe this? I suppose it should be taken as a small victory that the lawyer turned his attention to something so…so…mundane and puny, rather than trying to play with the Big Boy Liars.

    High caliber (2107b6)

  30. We have seen your act before. Buy-bye

    JD (b63a52)

  31. Of course you have…now run and hide.

    High caliber (2107b6)

  32. This is beyond pathetic.

    Comment by High caliber (2107b6) — 3/24/2013 @ 3:03 pm

    I dont usually like to feed trolls, but in the interest of debate, why is “This is beyond pathetic”?

    Tanny O'Haley (4c5a96)

  33. Tanny – because STFU homophobe

    JD (b63a52)

  34. I take it this is the kind of thing that occupies the small minds of Republicans.

    As for your side, I’m waiting for dyed-in-the-wool liberals in the public eye along the lines of, for example, David Letterman to start interviewing on their TV shows guests who are known to be gay or certainly bisexual and happily, casually yakkity yakking with them about their boyfriends (if the guest is an actor) or significant others (if the guest is an actress). I’m waiting for the typical liberal to start not just talking the talk, but walking the walk.

    I’m personally acquainted with one devout liberal who has a tendency to mock the sexuality of people he doesn’t like or is spouting off about. On one occasion, when he was doubting the masculinity of some celebrity, I recall quietly snickering in the background and thinking, “hey, dude, your Democrat Party and fellow leftists are turning homosexuality into a sacred, beautiful thing. Get with the program!”

    Mark (d57c6a)

  35. Tanny – because STFU homophobe

    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 3/24/2013 @ 4:01 pm

    Yep, no argument, real or imagined.

    Tanny O'Haley (4c5a96)

  36. Of course you have…now run and hide.

    Comment by High caliber (2107b6) — 3/24/2013 @ 3:50 pm

    I asked you an honest question. Are you going to answer my question?

    Tanny O'Haley (4c5a96)

  37. why is cute in quotation marks I don’t get that

    are you mocking us?

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  38. Oy. What a misnomer his handle is. It makes me feel badly for him.

    Dana (292dcf)

  39. Is this anything like high karate, because it’s strictly small bore ammunition, like dueling pistols,

    narciso (3fec35)

  40. high cotton old times there are not forgotten Mr. narciso

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  41. Narciso,
    Hai Caliber–Hai Karate. They both smell bad.

    elissa (fcea98)

  42. Low-Caliber, if you realllly didn’t think the email were such a big deal, you wouldn’t feel the need to attack Patterico for writing a post about an email that is much ado about nothing.

    Ok, now you can go back to Brett Kimberlin’s basement.

    Elephant Stone (a6dad0)

  43. did he come for an argument, or just settle for abuse?

    narciso (3fec35)

  44. Guess the EU isn’t so evolved after all:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100208464/barack-obamas-arafat-blunder-is-an-embarrassment-for-the-leader-of-the-free-world/

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2013/03/violence-breaks-out-at-paris-anti-gay-marriage-protest-video/

    Israel has begun shooting back at Syria. Baby Assad may be leaking, and Egypt is disintegrating.

    There is a time for peace and this ain’t it.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  45. Isn’t High Caliber synonymous with Big Bore ?

    Methinks this one’s slip is showing …

    Alasdair (a28b33)

  46. If it comes down to Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s opinion, here’s a recent indication of the way he’s thinking, he said the following this month in Sacramento:

    A democracy should not be dependent for its major decisions on what nine unelected people from a narrow legal background have to say.

    ropelight (6f246e)

  47. Do you think it’s a problem that the chief justice’s lesbian cousin is attending? Wouldn’t it be nice if all their gay and lesbian friends and family showed up?

    SnoJ (595f9e)

  48. 46. If it comes down to Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s opinion, here’s a recent indication of the way he’s thinking, he said the following this month in Sacramento:

    A democracy should not be dependent for its major decisions on what nine unelected people from a narrow legal background have to say.

    Comment by ropelight (6f246e) — 3/25/2013 @ 4:31 am

    When you actually step back and quit focusing on the trees and take a look at the forest, a society that actually believes a court can decide what marriage should be is a a society that is hopelessly dysfunctional.

    Why not just cut a goat open and look at its intestines for a sign from the gods?

    Steve57 (be3310)

  49. The chickens aren’t flying today; best not engage in battle.

    And the volcano spit out the last batch of virgins; institute gay marriage.

    Steve57 (be3310)

  50. Well Scalia, has sort of made a similar argument, don’t bring your arguments to the Court if you can help it.

    narciso (3fec35)

  51. 29. I guess it’s regarded as “cute” around here when someone points out a monumental FAIL of the lawyer who runs this dirty place.

    Comment by High caliber (2107b6) — 3/24/2013 @ 3:43 pm

    “FAIL” being a relative term, politically.

    NYT: Obama Has Lost Advantage Over G.O.P. on Economy

    UK Telegraph: Barack Obama’s Arafat blunder is an embarrassment for the leader of the free world

    It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of gay marriage. The concept of gay marriage is destructive to marriage itself. Consequently it’s destructive to society. And we’ll all pay the price.

    But I’m comfortable withe adopting the retrograde position our Preezy had in May 2012 (and our esteemed host still has) and leave it up to the voters. Of course, that was after our Preezy abandoned his even more retrograde position he espoused in 2008, in which he was against gay marriage. The retrograde position he adopted after abandoning his evolved position that gay marriage was cool.

    My head hurts.

    But it actually says something about gay marriage. It’s just not important of an issue. So the Preezy can do that.

    Why does Nanny Bloomberg bring the hammer down on bodegas that might serve a large soft drink? Because dealing with the public employee unions that should be clearing the snow off the roads or not molesting kids in the classroom is tough.

    So, no big gulps for you, Mr. Easy Target.

    See, he’s doing something.

    Which Brings us to President Arab Spring. Who has defined deviancy down to the point where a foreign policy success is now defined as guessing right about which faction’s bloody hands are going to reach the top rung of the ladder first, then handing out cash prizes.

    The NORKs and the Iranians are threatening nuclear war? I know, let’s focus on gay marriage. which is something like #172 out of America’s top 200 list of concerns.

    I honestly don’t see this hurting the Repubs.

    Really, after focusing on the economy and the fact that we really need to develop our own domestic (or Canadian) energy reserves because the ME has been going to hell in a handbasket for the past thousand years and shows no signs of changing course (who’d give a rip about the Strait of Hormuz if we didn’t need the oil) then third should be why is Bill Clinton’s political adviser George Stephanopoulos moderating a GOP debate?

    So he can ask the burning question of which theocrat wants to keep beating Sandra Fluke.

    Steve57 (be3310)

  52. Clashes, riot police, at French anti-gay marriage protest

    Hundreds of thousands of people — conservative activists, children, retirees, priests — converged on the capital Sunday in a last-ditch bid to stop the bill, many bused in from the French provinces.

    Again, I don’t care where you stand on the issue. Just saying. If you can get a few hundred thousand people to clash with riot police in what must be the gayest capital in Europe, it probably isn’t going to hurt the GOP to just be hands off about it and focus on WTF!! OMFG!! Obama is doing to our economy and reputation abroad.

    Steve57 (be3310)

  53. 52. EU taking a big leg down this week. Won’t be the end just yet but a new ‘normal’ established.

    Government is in it for themselves and no one can argue different.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  54. The Chief Justice’s lesbian cousin will be attending the arguments.

    DRJ (a83b8b)


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