Judge Not

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. 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. 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 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.” 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 Renee Paradis, and self-proclaimed “Juror No. 7” Kevin Wofsy.
Mon., March 19, 8 p.m., 2012

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