Judge who overturned Proposition 8 to retire

Posted by Maura Dolan on latimes.com:

"Vaughn R. Walker, the federal judge who ruled that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional, will leave the bench at the end of the year for the private sector, the U.S. District Court in San Francisco announced Wednesday.

"A media liaison for the court said Walker's decision was unrelated to his August ruling that found a ban on the freedom to marry violated the U.S. Constitution. 

"Walker presided over an unprecedented federal trial earlier this year that examined a wide array of questions about gays and lesbians, including whether sexual orientation can be changed and whether unions of same-sex couples differ much from opposite-sex unions.

"Walker, 66, a Republican appointee considered a conservative with a libertarian bent, has served as a federal district judge for nearly 21 years and as chief judge of the San Francisco-based court since 2004.

... "Walker informed President Obama of his decision in a letter.

“'Concluding twenty???one [sic] years of judicial service, I leave the bench with the highest respect and regard for the federal judiciary, its judges and their staff and the essential role they fulfill in our constitutionalsystem,' Walker wrote."

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