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At Last: Closing Arguments in Prop 8 Trial

There is some light at the end of the tunnel in the Prop 8 trial. You can be forgiven if you lost track of the case, as the testimony ended on Jan. 27 at U.S. District Court in San Francisco. But Judge Vaughn Walker left the proceedings officially open as he mulled a date for the closing arguments.

In the intervening time, proponents of Prop 8 sought to bolster their side by demanding that two groups heavily involved in the No on 8 campaign, Equality California and the ACLU, turn over internal documents, even though they are not parties in the case. Walker agreed, and the result has been months of legal wrangling. After Walker threatened significant fines, Equality California relented and said that they will turn over turn over “responsive, non-privileged documents,” with certain emails protected by the First Amendment.

Apparently this has played out well enough for Walker to set June for closing arguments — with some expectation that the 16th will be the actual date. The American Foundation for Equal Rights, the group backing the effort to overturn Prop 8, says that Ted Olson will deliver closing arguments.

There is one wrinkle left. The defense is seeking to suppress part of William Tam’s testimony. Tam was a supporter of Prop 8, but his testimony was damaging as it fed in to the arguments of the plaintiffs that the ballot initiative was driven by hatred of the gay community.

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