Let’s call the whole thing off

Judge Walker has denied a motion to stay his ruling that California’s Proposition 8 is unconstitutional pending resolution of the appeal. As a result, gay marriages can proceed in California forthwith, with their final status apparently to be determined at a later date.
Judge Walker’s denial of the stay was to be expected, given his handling of the case throughout. But one of his reasons for denying it struck me as curious — his finding that the intervenors who are carrying the ball on behalf of the voters of California (the state of California having declined to defend Prop 8) may not even have standing to appeal.
As Ed Whelan wonders, if the intervenors don’t have standing to appeal, why did Judge Walker grant them the right to intervene as defendants to defend Prop 8? Why not just enter a default judgment on the grounds that there is no controversy between parties with standing?
The answer, perhaps, is that a default judgment would not have permitted the court to conduct a show trial in which the voters of California, in effect, were put on trial for bigotry and gay rights advocates were able to present their propaganda in the guise of expert testimony. And, of course, Judge Walker would not have been able to sum it all up in a would-be landmark dissertation.


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