Professor Bradley at the University of Notre Dame thinks that Judge Vaughn Walker should have recused himself for his interest in the outcome of the Prop 8 litigation.
It’s not that Judge Walker is gay, you see.
Oh no, of course not.
It’s that he’s a gay man who actually dates men. Therefore, he might want to marry one of them. That gives him a “financial interest” in the outcome of the Prop 8 litigation.
However finely he tries to split these hairs, Professor Bradley cannot get to a convincing argument.
Suppose the judge hearing the case were a straight women. And not just a straight woman, but one who actually dates men. We could surmise that she might want to one day marry one of those men, have children with him, and become a stay-at-home mom dependent on her husband’s income.
According to Prop 8 supporters, gay marriage threatens the success of that plan. Therefore, that judge would have a financial interest in upholding Prop 8. She would need to recuse herself under Professor Bradley’s “logic.”
In fact, the proponents of Prop 8 argued that gay marriage undermines all straight marriages. Obviously then, all straight people who either are now or ever want to be married to someone of the opposite sex, have a financial interest in the litigation, according to Professor Bradley. Therefore no straight person is sufficiently disinterested to rule on the Prop 8 litigation.
Who is left? Bisexual judges? Asexual judges? Do they need to fill out forms now?
Can someone do a spreadsheet?!
Obviously, Professor Bradley is not opposed to judges having a personal stake in marriage. He just wants it to be the personal stake of which he approves.