From The Pasadena Star-News of February 18, 2013, this touching story:
SAN FRANCISCO — On a May day in 2009, Vaughn Walker was going through one of his weekly routines as a federal judge, reviewing a stack of new lawsuits assigned to his San Francisco chambers, when one case caught his eye: Perry v. Schwarzenegger…
It did not take long for the veteran chief judge, himself quietly but openly in a longtime gay relationship with a doctor, to realize that he had inherited the legal challenge to Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage. The silver-haired judge with the iconoclast’s reputation would be center stage in the gay marriage controversy.
“That’s when I had the ‘Oh my!’ moment,” Walker said during an interview last week…
Walker, after conducting an unprecedented trial, in 2010 declared the state’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional, saying the law had no social justification and singled out same-sex couples for discrimination.
In 1997 a group of environmental protestors locked themselves together in the office of Republican Congressman Frank Riggs in Eureka, California. When they would not leave, police sprayed a solution of hot pepper into the eyes of four women, and then swabbed it directly on their eyeballs with Q-tips. Other sheriff’s deputies filmed the torture, for later use in a training film.
U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker later dismissed a suit for damages brought by the torture victims. He held that Eureka police had used “reasonable force” on the locked and helpless protesters.
But just suppose the judge’s own eyeballs had once been reasonably forced into a longtime spray relationship with hot pepper? Would that too, back in 1997, have triggered an “Oh, my! moment” in the chambers of the silver-haired iconoclast?