Prop 8 Trial Tracker is doing the dirty work (our favorite kinda job!) and is live-blogging today's hearing debating the release of the Prop 8 trial tapes. An excerpt from this morning follows.
During today's hearing, plaintiffs calling for the release of the videotapes recording the Prop 8 trial are allowed to state their case. Visit Prop 8 Trial Tracker for its live blogging, but here's a juicy excerpt discussing Judge Vaughn Walker's treatment by the homophobes supporting the discriminatory law:
9:49: Christine from SF City Attorney’s office is up arguing.
Christine: Judge relied on video. 9th circuit says that hypothesis must be concrete. First is that proponents relied on facts that were very limited. They used media accounts and hearsay to go to Supreme Court to seal. That record discussed instances of true intimidation, which is horrible, with economic boycotts. The latter is part of our tradition per the Supreme Court. Prof. Segura during trial showed thast economic boycotts are part of tradition and are protected under 1st amendment. The facts that the proponents provided were before the trial, saying that one of their witnesses would not have testified had it been public, but no proof. No evidence that anyone has intimidated or approached Blankenhorn or Miller (their ONLY two witnesses) has happened since trial. Not something court can rely on.
9:45: Boutrous tries to introduce something that Blankenhorn, widely quoted and publicly appeared, on C-SPAN video (a marriage debate outside of the trial). Other side objects while “cheerfully stipulating” that Blankenhorn appeared publicly, but no new evidence.
Judge: Sustained, but note that the video is already submitted so it’s public.
Judge: What is the rule? If you are saying that the court should be part of public education, I’d say kick that upstairs to the policy makers.
Boutrous: The idea of the trial was outrageous. They tried to undermnine the integrity of this court by attacking Judge Walker. They appealed ruling saying that Judge biased. Therefore, they should be barred from arguing against releasing tapes. They are tying to undermine ruling by challenging Judge Walker himself. That is special, narrow reason in addition to broader reason. That’s why we ask that the court unseal.
Judge: One of things judges’ faces is being attacked in public. I have been assailed many times in my 24 years. There’s nothing you are doing that would enhance your chances on appeal. You are asking me to take the view that the public should have the right to see which might be better done by those representing the media.
(Image source: American Foundation for Equal Rights)