"There is some question if the Prop 8 case will go to the United States Supreme Court," said Walker, who oversaw the Prop 8 trial and issued his ruling striking down the antigay ballot measure in 2010. "Because of the narrow grounds the 9th Circuit ruled on, they could turn down that case."
No matter when a DOMA case reaches it, the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage is inevitable, said Walker.
"There seems to be no way in the world it can avoid the federal DOMA," he said. "It will be decided one way or another. It does seem to me the notion of people deciding to get married without regard to gender is an idea whose time has come and is ever more accepted."
Walker said he knew that at "some point" in his judicial career he "would have to deal with" his sexual orientation "in some fashion." Nonetheless, he was surprised to see Prop 8's lawyers reverse course and argue before the 9th Circuit that he should have recused himself from hearing the case since he is gay and has a long-term partner.
The appellate panel unanimously rejected such arguments, and Walker called the questioning of any judge's "innate characteristics," whether it be their race, gender or sexual orientation, "a very dangerous road to go down."