"That is, he might not want to invite the 9th Circuit and the Supreme Court [through Justice Kennedy] to deal with this case in the form of an immediate stay issue, and instead might benefit from allowing the case to work its way through the appellate process without creating new realities on the ground in the meantime."
Joan Heifetz Hollinger, a UC Berkeley law school lecturer and coauthor of a friend-of-the-court brief supporting gay marriage rights, observed that Walker was "adamant" in his ruling that " Proposition 8 should be gone."
"But, on other side, he's already been sort of slapped on the wrist by having his desire to broadcast the proceedings overruled," she said.
Just as the Proposition 8 trial was starting, the high court ruled 5 to 4 to overturn a decision by Walker to permit broadcast of the trial to other courthouses in the West. Walker also had hoped to put some of the testimony on the court's website for public viewing.
UC Irvine Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky said the practical impact of allowing more gay weddings in California may affect whether Walker and higher courts permit Wednesday's ruling to go into effect during time-consuming appeals.
"The longer same-sex marriage occurs in California — the more gay and lesbian couples that are married — the harder it will be ultimately to reverse Walker and uphold Proposition 8," the constitutional law professor said.