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Monday, March 19, 2012

Judge Who Overturned Proposition 8 Tells His Story at Porchlight

Posted on Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Vaughn Walker did what federal judges occasionally do: He was appointed by a Republican president (George H.W. Bush), but he'll forever be known for at least one ruling that clearly favors a liberal mindset (declaring unconstitutional Proposition 8, which prohibits same-sex marriage in California). During that case Walker came under fire from the measure's proponents after they learned he is gay (a fact that Bush didn't know). Despite their protests, he did not recuse himself. Clearly, this man could tell amazing stories. The problem with federal judges, though, is they rarely comment on such matters in order to remain impartial, which is, after all, their job. But we're in luck -- Walker retired last year, so he can talk. He's part of the lineup tonight (Monday) at the Verdi Club for Law and Order, this month's offering from the Porchlight storytelling series, in which six people tell "first-person accounts of being on one side of the law or the other, or perhaps the murky gray area in between."

In addition to the Proposition 8 case, Walker also oversaw several other Bay Area milestones, including the copyright-infringement dispute between Apple Inc. and Microsoft Inc., the antitrust case against the Hearst Corp. after it bought the Chronicle, and the antitrust case against Oracle Corp. after it took over PeopleSoft Inc. He also handled some tense and complex matters involving government surveillance after 9/11. Other 'tellers include public defender and former S.F. supervisor Matt Gonzales and his law partner Whitney Leigh, writer and HIV/AIDS activist Ed Wolf, criminal defense lawyer Renée Paradis, and self-proclaimed "Juror No. 7" Kevin Wofsy.

Law and Order starts at 8 p.m. Monday (March 19) at the Verdi Club, 2424 Mariposa (at Potrero), S.F. Admission is $15.

For more events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.

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