Vaughn Walker: He’s not messin’ around here, people.
Not the best start to a case when a judge calls you out, basically, for being obtuse.
Such is the state of the federal challenge to Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California last fall. Chief Judge Vaughn Walker had asked for detailed case management statements to be submitted in advance of a hearing next week. Yet some of the parties performed a bit underwhelmingly for the judge. Attorney General Jerry Brown, for instance, called himself a “nominal defendant” who would play a “minor role” in the case. He provided no guidance on discovery, class issues and a whole host of other topics.
This didn’t suit Walker.
“Despite the court’s direction to do so, these statements fail ‘to get down to the specifics of how we are going to proceed’ in this case,” Walker wrote. He instructed the parties, “including all government defendants,” to file much more detailed papers. They should be submitted by Monday, two days in advance of a hearing.
A spokesman for Brown did not immediately respond to an email. Plaintiff lawyer Ted Olson of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher issued an optimistic statement. "We continue to be pleased with the careful attention that Chief Judge Walker is giving to this matter and look forward to providing him with the additional information he needs to move this case promptly to a resolution on the merits," he said.
— Dan Levine