Walker made the logical and ethical decision to lift his temporary stay on last week’s ruling, but prudently decreed that it would remain in place until Wednesday, giving supporters of Proposition 8 time to bring the issue to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. That might not have been the boldest decision, but it was a fair and judicious one. If the weddings had begun Thursday afternoon — officials in several cities throughout the state, including Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in Los Angeles, were set up to start officiating at high-profile nuptials — and then were stopped just a few days later by a higher court, that truly would have created whipsawing confusion.
Thursday’s decision should, but probably won’t, quell some of the undeserved criticism leveled at Walker, who has been shrilly accused of engaging in self-interested “judicial tyranny.” To the contrary: Walker stood firm on constitutional principle yet showed respect for the litigants as they take their case to a higher court.
His critics are bigots and conservative Republican opportunists. They’re not going to change their spots because he was nice to them.
I’m also not 100% convinced that his decision was the right one, to in essence continue the stay long enough to give the appellate court the decision on whether to stay implementation of his ruling pending the outcome of the appeal (should there be one). We had marriage. They took it away. We are legitimately harmed by not having the right to marry. The bad guys suffer no harm if we have that right a while longer, and then it gets taken away again. And, as the judge noted, he’s not even sure they have standing to appeal, let alone have a case.
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