Wednesday, December 2, 2009

9th Circuit panel holds oral argument on issues raised by its emergency stay of Judge Walker's discovery orders

Perry v. Hollingsworth, No. 09-17241, oral arg. (9th Cir. Dec. 1, 2009) (audio file)

Yesterday a Ninth Circuit panel held oral argument about the full range of issues arising from its stay of discovery orders in Perry v. Schwarzenneger. (For background, see my earlier post.) The discovery dispute concerns whether a First Amendment privilege allows Prop. 8 proponents to refuse production of certain internal campaign documents to the Perry plaintiffs. Judge Vaugn Walker had ordered production of campaign documents that would reveal messages and themes proponents conveyed to voters, as along as the names of "rank-and-file" volunteers were redacted. These documents are relevant to the case because the messages and themes would show whether - or to what extent- proponents targeted gay and lesbian couples for animus or hostility.

12/01/09 LA Times - L.A. Now blog [updated by 12/02/09 LA Times]:
Lawyers for two gay couples challenging last year's Proposition 8 initiative banning same-sex marriage in California brought their case to a federal appeals court panel in Pasadena today, arguing that they need access to initiative sponsors' internal campaign communications to prove the ballot measure was passed with "discriminatory intent."

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