Beemer (dr_tectonic) wrote,

Vaughn Walker -- he's so dreamy

So I read the Perry v. Schwarzenegger decision today. (I also sorted through piles of notes and hung demotivator posters on the wall behind my door.)

Having also read Kitzmiller v. Dover, the conclusion I come to is that if you really want to annoy a judge, bring a high-profile case into his courtroom and then make an argument that is so weak-ass it implies you don't think he's very smart.

To paraphrase some friends, the Prop 8 decision is not just a ruling, it is a beatdown. The yawning chasm of competence between the two sides is just staggering. There are a whole bunch of places in the decision where Judge Walker quotes defendants' testimony in support of the plaintiffs. And I was almost getting third-party embarrassment cringe over his assessment of Blankenhorn's qualifications as an expert witness. Between every line, you can practically hear him saying, "Seriously, defense team? This was the best you could do? Seriously?"

Luckily, I had buckets of tasty, tasty schadenfreude to counter any discomfort.

Here is one of my favorite bits:

Blankenhorn’s book, The Future of Marriage, lists numerous consequences of permitting same-sex couples to marry, some of which are the manifestations of deinstitutionalization listed above. Blankenhorn explained that the list of consequences arose from a group thought experiment in which an idea was written down if someone suggested it. Blankenhorn’s group thought experiment began with the untested assumption that “gay marriage, like almost any major social change, would be likely to generate a diverse range of consequences.” The group failed to consider that recognizing the marriage of same-sex couples might lead only to minimal, if any, social consequences.

During trial, Blankenhorn was presented with a study that posed an empirical question whether permitting marriage or civil unions for same-sex couples would lead to the manifestations Blankenhorn described as indicative of deinstitutionalization. After reviewing and analyzing available evidence, the study concludes that “laws permitting same-sex marriage or civil unions have no adverse effect on marriage, divorce, and abortion rates, the percent of children born out of wedlock, or the percent of households with children under 18 headed by women.” Blankenhorn had not seen the study before trial and was thus unfamiliar with its methods and conclusions. Nevertheless, Blankenhorn dismissed the study and its results, reasoning that its authors “think that [the conclusion is] so self-evident that anybody who has an opposing point of view is not a rational person.”

I mean, OW! It's just a bare presentation of facts, so you can't point at anything in particular, but the implications and subtext are just vicious. And beautiful.

And I gather that you don't get to introduce new evidence in an appeal, you have to stick to the findings of fact from the lower court? It's gonna be very rough for the NOM crowd, I tell ya...
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