(12-17) 16:40 PST SAN FRANCISCO -- Television cameras will be allowed for the first time in federal trials, under an experimental program approved by a San Francisco-based appeals court Thursday that could lead to TV coverage of a lawsuit challenging California's same-sex marriage ban. Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, presiding over the case on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, has said he may approve TV coverage of the trial, scheduled to start Jan. 11 in San Francisco.12/18/09 The Recorder:
Walker first raised the possibility of a televised broadcast several weeks ago, and lawyers representing pro-same-sex-marriage plaintiffs support the idea. The defendants oppose it, saying anti-gay-marriage witnesses could be subject to harassment and retribution. When the topic arose again this week, Walker alluded to possible Ninth Circuit action and asked for another discussion with the parties should authorization occur.