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Vaughn Walker almost lost his chance to reach the federal bench because of claims that he was anti-gay and hostile to civil rights. Two dozen House Democrats, led by Rep. Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, opposed his nomination because of his alleged "insensitivity" to gays and the poor. His first appointment, from President Ronald Reagan in 1987, stalled out in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

His nomination was renewed by President George H.W. Bush in early 1989.

Back then, Walker struggled to assure skeptical liberals that, as a judge, he could rule with impartiality even though he had represented the U.S. Olympic Committee in its successful effort to prevent an athletic competition in San Francisco from being called the Gay Olympic Games. He was harshly criticized for putting a lien on the home of a gay-games leader who was dying of AIDS. Walker insisted that he was not anti-gay and was only doing his best to serve his client.


—From the San Francisco Chronicle.

Among the organizations that led the fight against Judge Walker were the Human Rights Campaign, the Lambda Legal Defense Fund, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Yes, this is the same judge who just struck down Proposition 8.
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