Prop 8 Trial Day Four: Destroy the Tapes


The Supreme Court was very clear on Wednesday: No TV coverage of the Prop 8 trial.

But before it had issued its indefinite stay on cameras, Judge Vaughn Walker let the proceedings be videotaped (but not shown anywhere) pending a final resolution. Now Prop 8 proponents apparently are asking that the tapes be destroyed, according to reports from the courtroom, an issue that is expected to be dealt with this morning.

On Monday, when the Supreme Court issued a temporary stay, Ted Boutrous, a member of the Olson-Boies legal team seeking to overturn Prop 8, asked that the proceedings be recorded, to the objections of Prop 8 proponents. Walker noted their objections, but went ahead with the recording anyway.

Unless I am missing something, the Supreme Court order didn’t address the issue of recording of the trial and what would happen to the tapes, particularly for posterity. Conceivably, it could come before the high court again, although the justices were pretty adamant in their opposition to TV coverage of this trial in particular.

Gay rights orgs are characterizing this as a “desire to erase history.”

Update: Walker has withdrawn the case from the Ninth Circuit’s pilot project, which I believe means that the videotaping has ended.

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