Undergraduate Discussion Breakfast: Ruling in Controversial Cases
November 4, 2011
As a federal judge for 21 years, Vaughn Walker decided high-profile cases in civil liberties, national security, and many other areas, including cases dealing with World War II Japanese Forced Labor and media access to executions. In August 2010, he struck down California's Proposition 8, the California voter initiative banning same-sex marriage, on the grounds that it violated the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Prop 8 case, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, now Perry v. Brown, is on appeal and may eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court. Walker retired in February 2011 as chief judge of the US District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco.