At a hearing in San Francisco this morning on the federal challenge to California’s Prop 8, Northern District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker denied attempts to intervene by a range of groups advocating same-sex marriage, including the ACLU and the Lambda Legal. He granted intervention to the city of San Francisco, for the limited purpose of providing evidence of its governmental interest in the issue.
We’ll chew this over thoroughly at CalLaw.com later today (update: here), but here’s an aside that we found entertaining: At the very end of the hearing, Walker basically teed off on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger — represented in court by his outside counsel, Kenneth Mennemeier — for his silence on the highly controversial issue.
|Not taking the bait.|
“I must say I’m surprised by the governor’s position in this case,” Walker said. (Or lack thereof, he might have added.) “I know he has a budget to worry about, and water and fires, but this is a matter of some importance in this case.”
Walker told the attorney that it would be “useful” to have Schwarzenegger’s “insights and views” and that they would be “very much appreciated.”
Mennemeier’s reply boiled down to an I’ll let him know.
At the press conference after the hearing, we asked David Boies, one of the all-star attorneys pressing this same-sex suit, whether he shares the judge’s disappointment that Schwarzenegger has ducked the issue. Boies kinda ducked the question:
“We remain hopeful that the governor and all political leaders who have not yet expressed a view will do so,” he said.
— Dan Levine