This post was generated based on liveblogging from the Prop 8 Trial Tracker and various live Tweets from the courtroom.
The first of two motions in today’s Proposition 8 proceedings has already been decided against those attempting to maintain inequality. Defendants of Prop 8 argued that all the videos of the trial from last year should be kept from public consumption, a concern they raised after now-retired Judge Vaughn Walker used one of the videos in a lecture he gave a few months ago. Though Walker returned all the videos, attorney Charles Cooper argued that all the videos should not only be recollected, but destroyed.
The new judge presiding over the trial, Judge James Ware, pointed out that he was the one who gave Judge Walker the tapes at Walker’s retirement ceremony. Perhaps foreshadowing how he will rule in the other motion — about whether Judge Walker should have recused himself because he is in a same-sex relationship — Ware asked Cooper if he, too, should consider recusing himself because of his connection to the videos. When Cooper did not respond (perhaps because of the laughter in the gallery), Ware added, “I don’t need an answer now.”
Theodore Boutrous, arguing for the plaintiffs, pointed out that the videos document a public record, not a “radioactive state secret.” The plaintiffs have copies of the video, and they intend to use them in preparation for their appeal of the case. Therese Stewart, who represents the city of San Francisco, pointed out the irony of the defendants’ attempts to question Judge Walker’s fairness while at the same time stifle the videos showing his fairness.
After hearing both sides, Judge Ware ruled that he would deny the motion to have the videos returned.