Judge Vaughn R. Walker

Vaughn Walker
Judge Vaughn Walker

Born in Illinois, Vaughn Walker graduated from the University of Michigan in 1966 and Stanford Law School in 1970. After years in private practice, he was nominated by President George H.W. Bush to the United States District Court in 1989, and he was confirmed by unanimous consent in the Senate later that year. 

During his time on the bench, Judge Walker presided over many high profile trials. In 1994, he decided in Apple v. Microsoft that Microsoft had not infringed upon Apple patent, a ruling that was upheld by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2008, he ruled that the National Security Agency had violated federal law by intercepting phone calls without a warrant. He also oversaw litigation involving the Hearst Corporation's purchase of the San Francisco Chronicle, and Oracle's hostile takeover of Peoplesoft. 

On August 4, 2010, he ruled in Hollingsworth v. Schwarzenegger that California's Proposition 8, which restricted the right of marriage in the state to one man and one woman, violated the U.S. constitution. He wrote, " Proposition 8 fails to possess even a rational basis... The state cannot have an interest in disadvantaging an unpopular minority group simply because the group is unpopular." In June 2013, the United States Supreme Court dismissed a challenge to Judge Walker's ruling, legalizing same-sex marriage in California. 

Judge Walker retired from the federal bench in 2011. He now has a private practice in San Francisco. 

Date: Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Location: Morris Daily Auditorium, SJSU.