Judge Who Ruled Prop. 8 Unconstitutional To Step Down

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The federal judge who ruled that California’s gay marriage ban is unconstitutional says he is stepping down from the bench.

The San Francisco-based federal court says Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker notified President Barack Obama by letter on Wednesday that he will leave the court in February.

Walker is retiring after 21 years as a federal judge. The 66-year-old has been chief judge of the Northern District of California since 2004.

He did not state in the letter his reason for stepping down.

Walker oversaw the high-profile trial over Proposition 8, a voter-approved initiative restricting a marriage to one man and one woman. His August ruling that struck down Proposition 8 is currently being challenged in a federal appeals court.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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