Proposition 8 Case In San Francisco Poised To Be First Televised Federal Trial

(SAN FRANCISCO) During a pretrial hearing in the federal lawsuit to overturn Proposition 8, Chief US District Judge Vaughn Walker told attorneys he supported recording the full trial and uploading it to YouTube for the public to see.Prop 8 Pretrial

Judge Walker said he would talk with 9th Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski before making a final decision.

Judge Walker did approve a live feed going to an overflow courtroom in the US District courthouse in San Francisco, as well as a room at the 9th Circuit Court Building at 7th and Mission in San Francisco.

The live feed would also be sent to the Federal Courthouse in Pasadena, California, Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington.

A request has also been made for the feed to be sent to a Federal Courthouse in Chicago.

During the hearing attorney Michael Kirk, council for supporters of Proposition 8, objected to the trial being televised.

He said such a broadcast would imperil his clients and would subject his witnesses to intimidation.

Judge Walker said those concerns are usually the case in criminal trials, not civil trials.

Walker also asked Kirk about the list of witnesses, wondering if they are likely used to speaking in public, “aren’t these folks mostly academics and different than witnesses in a criminal trial?”

Ted Butros an attorney for the plaintiffs, responded to the objection by pointing out that his opponent’s witnesses have already posted several YouTube videos of themselves stating why they do not support same sex marriage.

Following the hearing Michael Kirk and Jesse Panuccio, attorneys for supporters of Proposition 8 were asked several times if they would like to talk about the importance of this case and their objections.  Both said they had no comment.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs, Theodore Olson and Ted Butros did answer several questions about the case.

“This is a great step for the American People and everyone affected by Proposition 8 have the opportunity to see the justice system work,” Ted Olson said.

Olson has a long record of championing conservative causes and cases.  His most notable action was before the US Supreme Court during the election of 2000.  His successful arguments helped put George W Bush in office.

In this case he is working with David Boise, his opponent in the Bush V. Gore case.

The Proposition 8 trial is scheduled to begin January 11th at 9 AM Pacific time.   The trial is expected to stretch for a few weeks.

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