After a hearing last month in the challenge to Prop. 8, Walker summoned the parties into his chambers for a little chat — out of the press’s earshot. Turns out Walker wanted to float the idea of broadcasting the January trial, but not just to an overflow room in the federal building. He wanted to know how the lawyers felt about making the trial available for broadcast on a television station, according to a letter filed in the case.
Which side of the case is camera-shy? And does the Ninth Circuit hate 'em too? After the jump.
Walker’s request wouldn’t seem so unusual, given the immense interest in the Prop. 8 case. But if Social Security is the third rail of American politics, cameras in the court is responsible for electrocuting many a well-meaning federal judge. The national Judicial Conference thinks cameras shouldn’t be allowed in district court proceedings, and many circuits around the country — including the Ninth — have followed that line. Just last week, the Seventh Circuit chided a Peoria, Ill., jurist for allowing cameras into a civil proceeding there.
So, if Walker is really serious, it appears he would need special permission from the Ninth Circuit Judicial Council to pull it off (a group which may not be totally unsympathetic). Same-sex marriage supporters don’t have any problems with it.
But the Yes on 8 crowd sure does.
“Given the highly contentious and politicized nature of Proposition 8 and the issue of same-sex marriage in general, the possibility of compromised safety, witness intimidation, and/or harassment of trial participants is very real,” wrote attorney Charles Cooper (who we've just profiled on CalLaw this evening).
— Dan Levine