(Thanks to Rick Xiao, California attorney and site collaborator, for providing the filing.)
In a December 21st letter, a "Media Coalition" of national news networks asked Judge Walker to allow broadcasting and webcasting of the Perry trial. The Prop. 8 proponents expressed their objections in two letters; the Perry plaintiffs quickly responded to their objections. (See my December 29th post on the letters by both parties.) Yesterday Judge Walker said that he was considering asking 9th Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski to approve recording or webcasting of a January 6th hearing on a discovery dispute. Once reviewed, a recording would help him decide whether to allow recording or webcasting of trial proceedings, and would "inform the parties' positions" on the issue.
An anonymous reader of this site has alerted me to today's notice of the Northern District of California (N.D.Cal.). The Court invites public comment on a proposal to allow television of a judicial proceeding under "a pilot or other project authorized by the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit." The latest authorized "pilot project," of course, involves experimental, "limited use of cameras" by district courts in the 9th Circuit. The astute reader has also identified the N.D.Cal. Court's request to engage "a video production company to record a series of audio/video recordings ('movies') of a multi-day event that begins on January 11, 2010 ... estimated to last for two to three weeks." The reader concludes that "Judge Walker is determined to televise/webcast the Perry trial, no matter what."
These are the circumstances in which the Media Coalition has just filed a brief on why Judge Walker should allow television coverage of the Perry trial.
01/04/10 National Review, by Ed Whelan:
Walker’s New Year’s Eve surprise is a critical step in his evident ongoing effort to turn the lawsuit into a high-profile, culture-transforming, history-making, Scopes-style show trial of Proposition 8’s sponsors. Specifically, Walker is rushing to override longstanding prohibitions on televised coverage of federal trials so that he can authorize televised coverage of the Proposition 8 trial. Televised coverage would generate much greater publicity for ringmaster Walker’s circus. And, whether Walker desires the effect or is somehow blind to it, televised coverage would surely also heighten the prospect that witnesses and attorneys supporting Proposition 8 would face harassment, intimidation, and abuse.01/05/10 update
01/05/10 LBGT POV, by journalist Karen Ocamb:
As Ted Johnson at Variety’s WilshireandWashington.com reported earlier – US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker received so many letters for and against broadcasting the Jan. 11 federal challenge to Prop 8 that he decided to hold a hearing on the issue. That hearing is set for Wednesday in San Francisco.