Prop 8 Trial Videos To Remain Sealed, Judge Rules

Judge Deals Major Blow To Gay Marriage Supporters

A video recording of the 2010 trial that challenged the constitutionality of Proposition 8, California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, will remain sealed, a federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled Thursday.

The 3-0 ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals stated that the trial judge who permitted the recording had promised it would not be made public. "The integrity of our judicial system depends in no small part on the ability of litigants and members of the public to rely on a judge's word," it read.

...the ruling maintained a blanket of secrecy over recordings of a trial that was as public a proceeding as federal court rules allow: intense media coverage, live-blogging from the courtroom, a telecast to spectators in an overflow courtroom, and re-enactments on YouTube - and even on Broadway.

Prop. 8's sponsors, however, argued that any telecast beyond the courthouse would intimidate and endanger their witnesses. They persuaded the U.S. Supreme Court to ban live broadcasts to other federal courthouses on the eve of trial in January 2010, and they prevailed again today in an effort to keep the recordings under seal, perhaps permanently.

The court provided no indication as to when or how it would rule on the larger question: whether Prop 8 represented an act of blatant discrimination and should therefore be deemed unconstitutional.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the court also ruled that Chief Judge U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who presided over the original trial that declared the measure unconstitutional and is now retired, may not keep his own copy of the recordings.

Click here for The Huffington Post's complete coverage of Prop 8.

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