Appeals court won’t release videotapes of Prop 8 trial

Siding with supporters of Proposition 8, a federal appeals court issued a ruling yesterday forbidding the public release of videotaped testimony in the 2010 trial that resulted in the measure being declared unconstitutional.

In its 23-page decision, a three-judge panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco agreed with Prop 8 defenders that the videotapes should remain sealed.

The court did not issue any opinion regarding the broader question of whether Proposition 8 is constitutional, which it still has under consideration. 

Yesterday’s ruling — a small victory for opponents of same-sex marriage in California — addressed only the question of whether videotapes recorded during the 2010 trial before U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker, who ultimately declared Prop 8 unconstitutional, should be made public. Walker has since retired. It was his successor who later ordered that the videotapes be unsealed, which led proponents of the measure to file an appeal to the higher court.

Supporters of same-sex marriage wanted the videotapes made public, in part to ridicule some of the witnesses who testified in favor of Prop 8. Lawyers arguing on behalf of the proposition said public release of the videotapes could subject some of the witnesses to undeserved harassment.

The appeals court relied heavily in its decision on the promise of Judge Walker at the time that the tapes would not be made public. As the 2010 trial got under way, supporters of the proposition won an order from the US Supreme Court forbidding the broadcast of the trial. When Judge Walker said he wanted to record the trial anyway, lawyers arguing for Prop 8 agreed only after Walker said the recordings would be sealed and used only by him in his chambers to review testimony.

The appeals court found that Walker’s successor, U.S. District Court Chief Judge James Ware, abused his discretion when he ordered the release of the tapes last year at the request of Prop 8 opponents. The recordings, said the appeals court, “cannot be released without undermining the integrity of the judicial system.”

“The American people deserve a court system that upholds the integrity of the judicial process,” remarked Alliance Defense Fund senior legal counsel Austin R. Nimocks regarding the decision. “The 9th Circuit correctly ruled that when a trial judge makes a solemn promise, as Judge Walker did by assuring the parties that the trial video would not be publicly released, the judiciary must not be allowed to renege on its pledge. To rule otherwise would severely undermine the public’s confidence in the federal courts by breaching the bond of trust between the people and their justice system.”



Posted Friday, February 03, 2012 12:23 AM By charlio
Weird but True (strange political bedfellows): Scanning one of the online copies of the database of those who donated twenty-five dollars or more to Proposition 8, one finds record of a $25,000 donation TO Proposition 8, by Edward Allred, multi-millionaire, former owner of Family Planning Associates, once upon a time the largest independent abortion clinic chain. Dr. Allred was quoted in “Doctor’s Abortion Practice Lucrative,” The San Diego Union, 10/12/80, pp. A-3, 17: “Population control is too important to entrust to some right-wing, pro-life types. Take the recent influx of Hispanic immigrants: Their lack of respect for democracy and social order is frightening. I hope I can do something to stem that tide. I’d set up a[n abortion] clinic in Mexico for free if I could. Maybe one in Calexico would help. The survival of our society could be at stake. … The Aid to Families With Dependent Children program is the worst boondoggle ever created. When a sullen black woman can decide to have a baby and get welfare and food stamps and become a burden to all of us it’s time to stop. In parts of South Los Angeles having babies for welfare is the only industry the people have.”

Posted Friday, February 03, 2012 6:25 AM By JLS
I do not believe abortion is a means of population control in the sense of reducing the number of people on the planet … since this number has steadily increased. I believe the root of it is the lust for power through ritual human sacrifice, and that the “population control” tag is designed to serve as a marketing tool, a “sanitizer” to make it palatable to the public. Sodomy somehow is part of the package in the marketplace.

Posted Friday, February 03, 2012 6:35 AM By JLS
Allred’s “logic” is anything but logical. He says abortion stops welfare babies, but it does not stop this at all. Those women who feed off welfare by having babies are not the ones who choose abortion. Abortion is a human sacrifice ritual, but is marketed otherwise.

Posted Friday, February 03, 2012 7:19 AM By L. Helman
My question is: what do they have to hide?

Posted Friday, February 03, 2012 7:32 AM By Chuck Anziulewicz
Gay Americans have made huge progress over the years by courageously coming out of the “closet” and living their lives with decency and integrity. So it’s ironic that the opponents of fair treatment for Gay Americans feel the need to slink into closets of their own.

Posted Friday, February 03, 2012 8:14 AM By dan
Chuck, “decency” and “integrity” are nice sounding words, and nothing more. If these people favoring prop 8 fear for their well-being from such decent and integrious gay activists (and current events show their fear to have basis) then let the records remain sealed.

Posted Friday, February 03, 2012 8:20 AM By Bud 
It’s not fair treatment that is the problem. It’s what the entire movement demands by shoving their ridiculous claims to redefine themselves to the detriment of the entire society. Unfortunately, rule by judicial fiat has been the only successes so far with the help of politicians that even they should not trust. The type of acceptance being demanded must be through a change of heart not force of anykind.

Posted Friday, February 03, 2012 8:38 AM By Canisius
Chuck, if you consider public sodomy, sexual anarchy and the reduction of culture to be progress, then you are morally inverted.

Posted Friday, February 03, 2012 9:01 PM By JLS
Progress is not coming out of a closet, but ceasing homosexual activity.

Posted Saturday, February 04, 2012 3:27 AM By Mac
Anything that can be used to harass or harm witnesses is unjust and can be dangerous when dealing with those who support a lifestyle of Satan – where anything goes. Harm could also come to their families or their homes. There is no reasonable decent use for the release of these tapes to sodomites. “Supporters of same-sex marriage wanted the videotapes made public, in part to ridicule some of the witnesses who testified in favor of Prop 8. Lawyers arguing on behalf of the proposition said public release of the videotapes could subject some of the witnesses to undeserved harassment.”

Posted Saturday, February 04, 2012 4:13 AM By Abeca Christian
Chuck Anziulewicz what deceptive views you hold ! If the “gay” activist, because all who label themselves “gay” are activist in some way, are decent with integrity, then there would not be any violence, your “gay” people will retaliate against anyone who opposes their lifestyles, there is no decency and integrity in that! We must protect the innocent from those who live very dangerous lifestyles, not only because of aids, not only because they live a higher rate of suicidal attempts, not only because they have higher rates of some kind of substance abuse, not only because ……etc etc. There is no dignity or decency in that. You commented here, as a self-righteous individual defending an immoral lifestyle and ones of a disordered nature, then let us give you the facts, since you sound so ignorant of the reality of how violent and angry those that come from the “gay” activism! The law protects them now, so you should not have worries for them. Therefore I’m thankful that the innocent are protected here, the ones who are defending marriage between one man and one woman!! So don’t use your closet analogy on us, because that was truly meant for the disorder natured one, the closet was better for them when the era also allowed rehabilitation, now they do not encourage them to get help, they actually condone their lifestyles. Who do you love MORE? Jesus or Homosexuality!

Posted Saturday, February 04, 2012 4:18 AM By Abeca Christian
A very wise decision!

Posted Saturday, February 04, 2012 9:29 AM By Rick DeLano
I wonder if it is such a “small” victory. On its own, maybe. But this is really quite amazing in the bigger picture. The Ninth Circuit- I mean come on folks this is the Ninth Circuit, the strategically selected Circuit that was supposed to rubber stamp the Prop 8 ruling, just like this one was rubber stamped by Vaughn Walker’s good buddy Ware. This is now the third time that a higher court has reversed Walker in this disgraceful circus trial that will go down in history as the worst perversion of the judicial process in modern history. It means that every single time the Prop 8 legal team has battled the “Dream Team” they have won. Every single time… long as the judge hearing the arguments wasn’t either Vaughn Walker or his hand-picked successor. This bodes very well indeed. Even I can’t quite believe the Ninth Circuit is actually prepared to rectify the judicial sham perpetrated by Walker- this ruling might be in the form a bit of a fig leaf to prepare the way for the expected vote to uphold- but I can tell you the incredible saga of Walker’s arrogant decision to grab hold of our legal system and show just how easily he could use it as a weapon against freedom itself, is not playing well at all, even among the most presumably sympathetic to same sex pseudo-marriage. If same sex pseudo marriage is going to be imposed, it had better not be imposed on the basis of this judicial fraud; history will not be kind to Vaughn Walker, and I think his colleagues know it.

Posted Saturday, February 04, 2012 3:11 PM By markrite
Sorry Rick Delano, but I don’t think the recent Appeals court decision to leave the videpotapes sealed is anything more than, perhaps, a judicial anomaly, or, more likely, a tactic similar to the old Communist one of “one step backward, two steps forward” by which the opposition (those for Prop. 8) is blindsided by what they think is a ‘consession’ but is just meant to bamboozle; these gay activists have a very rigid agenda to make sure that their perversions and sodomy are MAINSTREAMED into STRAIGHT SOCIETY, hoping that in time all of us Christian heteros will just “get over it” and accept them as just another “alternate” lifestyle. For make no mistake, organized gaydom is PLAYING FOR KEEPS and won’t accept anything else. Having lived in southern California for a very long time and having been a practicing Catholic for even longer, I’ve seen their tactics evolve from being “frustrated” at having to live “in the closet” since the fifties to celebrating their “coming out” vis-a-vis the Stonewall Riots in NYC in the late sixties to their SHRILL and ANTI-HISTORICAL demands for the ‘right’ to “gay marriage” in the present day. Gay marriage advocates have really come to a logical denouement as such in these hysterical demands. And average ordinary Americans, if such really exist any more, should NEVER GIVE IN to these agendas they try to ram down our collective throats. Like Martin Luther King, Jr. advocated in the defense of African-American rights, FILL THE JAILS if need be to protest gay depravity. GOD BLESS ALL, MARKRITE

Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2012 10:38 AM By Aaron
Just read the news that 9th Federal Appeals Court has ruled Proposition 8 as unconstitutional. Not a surprise. Voters do NOT have the right to vote on what rights others will have. The Constitution guarantees equal rights to everyone!

Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2012 11:14 AM By Abeca Christian
Hey Chuckie did you get that?

Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2012 12:43 PM By Canisius
Aaron, we know you want moral perversion to be a “right”

Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2012 10:07 PM By JLS
Aaron, it was a set up, a way to take it out of the state’s hands and kick it up to the federal govt to make one further move towards empirical tyranny and trashing of the Tenth Amendment. The way it works is the Congress prints as much money as it needs to buy the allegiances of the state govts. Nothing new. You and your fellow tyranists are having a time of it, but just wait until the tide turns, at which time you all will wish you never tried to seduce the Church.

Posted Wednesday, February 08, 2012 12:06 AM By Abeca Christian
Aaron yes I heard, the worst news ever! the Constitution was not written to give way to same sex disorders! Nor to redefine marriage! You want to go down on your free will, go at it but don’t bring the rest of us down with you. I prefer heaven! I pray that you do too some day!

Posted Wednesday, February 08, 2012 11:20 PM By Abeca Christian
If you don’t know Jesus, you won’t seek heaven! To know Jesus is to seek him, to seek him is to grow hunger for Him, it is through that hunger that we will find him, seek him, get to know him on a personal level etc. Are you Thirsty? Jesus will fill you up, are you hungry, Jesus is the answer! Are you looking for acceptance? Then ask Jesus to transform you in His ways, then no one else will matter more than your bond with Christ! Fall in Love with Jesus, then Mary, and all the saints and angels become your friends. If you don’t know how, ask Mary, she wants nothing more than to bring you to Jesus. Love Jesus more and give up what the flesh seeks, love Jesus, there is nothing better! Cry to the heavens and give your worries to Him, begging and praying for his mercy and love, the more we humble ourselves, the easier it becomes. You are not alone because if you invite Jesus daily into your life, He is there, like a gentleman, never forcing himself on you but waiting for you to call on Him. He loves you. Come like little children to Christ, and see what happens.