Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Judge Walker will allow delayed YouTube video of Perry trial

Minute order granting request to broadcast Perry trial, filed 01-06-09

The minute order, of course, says nothing about why Judge Walker decided today to allow a delayed YouTube webcast of the Perry trial, or about the arguments he heard from attorneys. So here's news on the arguments and Walker's statements.

01/06/10 SF Chronicle

The videotape will be posted on a YouTube site ( as soon as possible, which might be later the same day or the next morning, said Buz Rico, the court's technical adviser.

01/07/10 The Recorder (San Francisco legal newspaper):
The trial, which begins on Monday, will be filmed by court personnel, Walker ruled, but it will not be broadcast live. Instead, the recording will be posted on a YouTube page at some point after the close of the day's proceedings. Walker declined an offer from In Session (formerly Court TV) to broadcast live, with its own crew ... When Yes on 8 campaign lawyer Michael Kirk tried to cite U.S. Judicial Conference guidance against cameras, Walker asked whether that really applied more to criminal trials. The Prop 8 campaign raised lots of money and openly electioneered, Walker said. "They assumed a public face, if you will," he said.
01/06/10 L.A. NOW - Los Angeles Times:
If Walker's view is endorsed, as expected, by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the legal battle over same-sex marriage will become the first federal trial in nine Western states to be videotaped for public distribution, according to Thomas Burke [attorney for Media Coaltion, which filed a brief in support]. In addition to running the entire proceedings on a delayed basis on YouTube, the videotape would be broadcast at several other federal courthouses ... [The delay, Walker said, allows the "process to be completely under the court's control."]
Broadcasts of proceedings in the trial, scheduled to begin Jan. 11, will be available for viewing on Google Inc.’s YouTube video-sharing network after a delay of as long as one day. "This is a case which merits a very serious consideration for widespread distribution,” Walker said at today’s hearing. He said the case deals with important issues that “people think about, talk about, debate about, consider. So I think it’s worth trying in this case ...Walker said the case is different from a murder trial in which concerns about televising proceedings might arise because of potential witness intimidation. Proponents of Proposition 8 organized a multimillion-dollar political campaign to change the California constitution, he said. “They assumed a public face and a public response in doing so,” Walker said. The faces of witnesses who don’t want their testimony broadcasted will be blacked out in videos, Walker said. The cameras can be removed from the courtroom if they prove to be a distraction, he said.

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