Bmaz, blogging over at Marcy Wheeler’s place, seems to think so, and for good reason:
As I indicated earlier, and as nearly every media outlet and blog has now figured out and related, the decision from Judge Vaughn Walker in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger Prop8 gay marriage case is to be issued tomorrow sometime between 1 pm and 3 pm Pacific time. Here is what other media sources and blogs either do not know or won’t relate: the lead attorneys for the respective sides likely got courtesy copies from the court of Judge Walker’s draft opinion around 2 or 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon.
As a courtesy on really big opinions, so as to give counsel a chance to prepare appropriately for media response and/or immediate motions that need to be filed, courts occasionally give lead counsel on each side their draft opinion slightly ahead of public filing and release, but do so with a strict gag order so no one ever knows this happens This is something that Vaughn Walker has, from experience, a track record for doing, and I think it likely, actually almost certain, that he did just that here. Which makes the fact that the H8ter Defendant Intervenors (DIs), who propagated the hateful Proposition 8, and who oppose gay marriage, have already lodged a Motion For Stay Pending Appeal very, very telling.
Fingers crossed/wood knocked, etc. It makes sense, though. Those on the side of humanity, decency, love, intelligence and fairness, haven’t made any moves, but the bigots are already scrambling. Sounds like bmaz is on to something.
More comforting news later in the piece:
The decision by Vaughn Walker to have a full fledged trial with a full evidentiary record was inspired and put the Perry case in a unique position compared to how such issues are usually handled on submitted pleadings and argument. this one had a real trial with a real record; that makes a ton of difference for the appeal.
Appellate courts cannot just substitute their views for that of the trial court when there is an evidentiary record, findings of fact and conclusions of law like this, where it is much easier to do so if it has been decided by preliminary injunctive relief, motions or on the pleadings. Walker can really put this in a unique posture with how he frames his findings of fact and conclusions of law; and I expect him to do just that. Walker is very detailed and very smart and crafty. He will lock in and protect his decision to every extent he can, and trust me Walker is very good at this. One of the best I have ever seen. Ted Olson, David Boies, Plaintiffs Perry et. al and fans of Constitutional equality everywhere could not ask for anything more.
As so many have said throughout this case, we’ve been in very good hands. The Christofascist Supremacists thought they were in good hands. Indeed, they brought their “best.” As those of us who watched the case noticed, their best is hilariously bad, so…
Happy thoughts! We’ll post later today when the decision is released.