The weighty issues of the Prop 8 case may be at the appellate courts, but the spotlight is about to shine on the judge inheriting the historic gay marriage case in the court below.
The first order of business for U.S. District Chief Judge James Ware? Judging the Prop 8 judge. Ware is being asked to scrutinize some of the work of his former colleague on the bench, Vaughn Walker, who left earlier this year after striking down the ban.
While Perry v. Schwarzenegger has been up on appeal, the backers of the ban have focused some of their attention on Walker -- first chiding him for publicly airing a snippet of the bench trial, saying the video is under seal and should not be disclosed publicly in light of court rules and orders.
Then on Monday, the proponents moved to vacate Walker's rulings in the case, saying he may have had a personal interest in the outcome because he's gay and in a long-term relationship.
Ware, who took over some of Walker's old case load, responded to the recusal issue by ordering an expedited schedule with a June 13 hearing.
Meanwhile, the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday kicked the video question to Ware. The Prop 8 proponents had asked the Ninth Circuit to order Walker to turn over the video and order him to stop showing it.
"Although jurisdiction over the merits of the decision below, including the judgment, has passed to this court, the district court has not been divested of its jurisdiction over ancillary matters, such as protective orders," the court said in a brief order signed by Judges Stephen Reinhardt, N. Randy Smith and Michael Daly Hawkins, the judges assigned to the appeal.
So, DJ Jazzy Jim, as he's known when handling the karaoke mic, the spotlight is on.