Prop 8 Questions on Trial Tape, Judge's Alleged Bias Being Heard Before Ninth Circuit Today

Posted by Chris Geidner
December 8, 2011 5:10 PM |

As Metro Weekly noted on Dec. 2, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is holding oral arguments this afternoon, at 2:30 Pacific Time, to hear from the parties involved in the litigation over Proposition 8 about two questions: whether the public release of videotapes made of the trial should be allowed and whether U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker "should be disqualified from presiding over the case because he was involved in a same-sex relationship at the time."

Neither the ongoing question of whether the proponents of Proposition 8 have standing to appeal the trial court ruling striking down Proposition 8 as unconstitutional nor the constitutional question itself are due to be discussed in today's arguments.

Watch here and follow on Twitter for more.

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KQED plans to livestream the arguments here.

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The judges on today's panel, the same judges who heard the standing and merits questions argued more than a year ago, are Judge Stephen Reinhardt, Randy Smith and Michael Daly Hawkins.

First up is the trial tape question, and the judges sound inclined, at least for the time being, to overturn U.S. District Court Judge James Ware's ruling unsealing the tape.

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Second topic is the recusal question, and the judges sound even more inclined, nearly certain, to uphold Ware's ruling that Walker's relationship needn't have been disclosed and, thus, that his trial court decision needn't be vacated.

Assuming that to be the case, the appeals court will need to go on to the standing question and, if the proponents are found to have standing, the merits of the case challenging Proposition 8.


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