Looks like Chief Judge Vaughn Walker isn’t making himself any friends among Republicans in Congress. After Walker ordered that the federal challenge to Prop 8 be televised for YouTube, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) fired off a protest letter (.pdf) to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.
“I am greatly concerned about this development and urge the Judicial Conference to forestall the implementation of a hastily revised Local Rule that clearly deviates from longstanding Conference and congressional policy prohibiting televised trial proceedings,” wrote Smith, the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee.
Since Judicial Conference policy is only advisory, and the Ninth Circuit is on board with Walker’s plan, we can’t imagine Smith’s solicitation being much more than a showpiece. But we emailed the AO, and will update if they respond.
— Dan Levine
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