Walton was appointed to the federal bench in 2001 by President George W. Bush after serving on the District of Columbia Superior Court and as an adviser for crime and drug policy to President George H.W. Bush. He also was an athlete -- he went to college on a football scholarship and played ball with Ken Griffey Sr. in their hometown of Donora, Pa. Walton declared a mistrial after two days on the Clemens trial when prosecutors shared evidence with jurors that he had already deemed inadmissible.
Clemens and his attorneys then tried to get the charges thrown out, but Walton refused, saying that he was concerned about the prosecution's violation of his orders, but current law does not allow him to throw out the indictment unless there is proof that prosecutors intentionally goaded the ex-pitcher into requesting a mistrial. He later said he wants to believe it was a mistake because he has high respect for trial attorneys Steven Durham and Daniel Butler, both of whom have been before him on other matters.