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Media Coalition Requests Closing Arguments Be Filmed


By Julia Rosen

The Media Coalition has sent a formal request today to Judge Walker that they be allowed to film the closing arguments, tentatively scheduled for June 16th. As most of you remember, Judge Walker originally was going to let the trial be recorded and posted to YouTube, but the Supreme Court overturned his ruling. Given all that transpired, it would be surprising if Judge Walker rules in favor of open access.


In the letter, media lawyers argued that the local federal court has now properly established rules for televising federal court proceedings, and that concerns about witnesses are no longer relevant for closing arguments conducted by the lawyers.

Here is the letter the Media Coalition sent to Judge Walker:

[scribd id=31569783 key=key-rw1zmpygqir37y1r0fr mode=list]

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  • 1. Kathleen  |  May 18, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Just subscribing

  • 2. K!r!lleXXI  |  May 19, 2010 at 3:51 am


  • 3. K!r!lleXXI  |  May 20, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    It's time to remember this wonderful song written about the broadcast of the Prop 8 trial being nixed (I hope it works, haven't posted any YouTube videos since they've dramatically changed their design):


  • 4. K!r!lleXXI  |  May 20, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Nope, it didn't work.
    One last attempt:

  • 5. K!r!lleXXI  |  May 20, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    OK, the very-very-very last attempt:

    If it didn't work, then here's a simple link:


  • 6. Bob  |  May 18, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Well at least there is a formal request, can't say didn't ask. I can't wait, wonder if it's just us who are anxious, hopefully by know there's a hudge number of people on both sides who are waiting with baited breath,

    Not only in America, but in every country Americans came from, plus First Americans too,, if the lawyers make a big case regarding separation of church and state.

    That could set the standard for life as we know it, and more than just us, would benefit.

  • 7. Richard A. Walter (s  |  May 18, 2010 at 9:43 am

    I hoe they are able to do this. I would love to see the closing arguments.

  • 8. Mark  |  May 18, 2010 at 9:45 am

    It is my opinion that we may just see closing arguments on television…the mere fact that there are no witnesses, and only the attorneys will be speaking, may tip the scales of justice our way.

  • 9. Monty  |  May 19, 2010 at 1:11 am

    But if the attorneys talk on camera, people might say mean things to them!

  • 10. Ronnie  |  May 19, 2010 at 1:20 am

    They're Lawyers…….people already say mean things to them…….<3…Ronnie

  • 11. Monty  |  May 19, 2010 at 1:23 am

    But now they'll be able to see them talking!

  • 12. Ronnie  |  May 19, 2010 at 1:25 am


  • 13. Ronnie  |  May 18, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Yes we East Coasters want to see too…..<3…Ronnie

  • 14. Bolt  |  May 18, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Walker should allow the world see him annihilate proposition 8!

  • 15. Brad  |  May 18, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Please post this on it's own! This is too much…

    My partner and i are holding an engagement party next month and I have been feeling excited but uncertain about holding a party to celebrate our engagement. Now reading this, I we are so fortunate to have the freedom we do. The fight goes on….

  • 16. Straight Grandmother  |  May 18, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Brad, C-O-N-G-R-A-T-U-L-A-T-I-O-N on your engagnement. I hope you ahve many happy years of wedded bliss.

  • 17. Straight Grandmother  |  May 18, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Let's hope this gets approved. And also i would like to have the Judges Decision also broadcast. This trial started in January and we have been very patient waiting and waiting for the other shoe to drop. I hope we win, I will be crushed if we don't.

  • 18. Kathleen  |  May 18, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    I expect the decision to be written, not announced in court.

  • 19. Tony  |  May 18, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    I was under the impression that Judge Walker wanted the camera's in the first place, and it was the supreme court that went over his head and had them removed at the behest of the yeson8 crowd.

    That said i can't imagine that he would refuse this request, though expect the yeson8 crowd to try and have it blocked and expect to have some kind of ruling from the supreme court, I personally want to hear their justification if they disallow the camara's again

  • 20. chamisaguy  |  May 18, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    tTe request does look like it's addressed the previous "objection" of not enough comment time before the trial began, thus the denial of the videotaping on that technical point (aside from the complaints and worries from the defendant-interveners about their witnesses, etc.). As I recall, perhaps incorrectly, the Supreme Court denied the taping on the technical issue of the notice period, avoiding a ruling on the "danger" to D-I's witnesses.

    There's been sufficient time allowed for comment, etc., and it seems the court's change to its rules has been proper (according to the statement in the request) and can include the closing-argument phase at least, in my opinion (and hopes).

    Any opinions or thoughts?

  • 21. New  |  May 19, 2010 at 2:19 am

    I also wonder what would be their justification for denying this request at this time.
    Crossing my fingers.

  • 22. chamisaguy  |  May 18, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    That was supposed to be "The" at the beginning of my post, of course….

  • 23. Bob  |  May 19, 2010 at 3:11 am

    I've been thinking about this, and just have to say, that it's the mainstream media making the request am I right, the one's we hoped to be more involved in the reporting all the way through the trial.
    This is not our regular gay friendly reporters, but finally the media attention we wanted.
    Seems like now they see an opportunity for themselves, first in creating news, being the first time this happens, they all want to be part of it. Glad that has them interested, and I hope their interest continues even if they aren't allowed to air the closing arguements.
    Because in their last sentence in the letter, they affirm, this would enhance the publics ability to witness the parties respecitve closing arguements IN THIS HISTORIC CASE!!!!!!!!!!

    Somehow finally they get the historic value of this news that was being made all the time they were off doing other things.

    Maybe a little late, but still could be the big bang we need, even if this does wind up being a step backward in terms of the ruling, it's still history, and the shock value alone, would give us empitus to take the next two steps forward.

    WE may at last make it to the front page of the daily press. Even if we're only the story behind they're failure to gain access to a new level of reporting,

    Wonder how much time we'll have to know if they can gain access, and either way if there's benefit to some kind of public showing from the people a movement a march, to honor the occasion.

  • 24. Andrea  |  May 19, 2010 at 4:15 am

    Feh. Where were all these folks the first time around?

    The lame-stream media just wants to show up and broadcast the haters' "Hell fire and eternal damnation" gay-bashing closing speech, now that cross-examination is over and it's just a "he-said, she-said" situation. And just in time for elections, too!

    You'll get 2:30 of Cooper accusing us of everything under the sun, even making the honeybees disappear, and then five seconds of Olson/Boies saying "We disagree." This will be called "Fair and Balanced."

    The Court should follow Nancy Reagan's advice, and Just Say No.

  • 25. Joel  |  May 19, 2010 at 5:33 am

    I most respectfully disagree with you, for personal and selfish reasons. My husband and I have a marriage license in CA, and this trial affects us in a very intimate way. I want to see and hear the closing arguments; I respect and aplaud the efforts of all the bloggers and videographers who have tried to make this trial public knowledge, accessible to all, but I really, really want to see the actual closing arguments, and I want Judge Walker's decision, whatever it is, to have more of an impact on the American public than a PDF file that most people will never even download, let alone read. We are spending precious time and money preaching to the choir already.

  • 26. Andrea  |  May 19, 2010 at 6:07 am

    If I thought for one second that the media was going to actually broadcast the whole thing, I'd agree with you, Joel.

    Remember how bad the MSM coverage was during the trial – AP headlines written by NOM and all that? Bill Tam's meltdown ran in AP as "Gay Foe's Role in Rights Case Questioned." Remember?

    I don't believe these media groups are on the level in any way, shape, or form. That's why I don't want to give the MSM the opportunity to pull the scam they're trying to pull.

  • 27. Monty  |  May 19, 2010 at 6:12 am

    I have to agree with Andrea to some extent. Despite the right-wing paranoid fantasy of a liberal media conspiracy in which Fox News is the sole champion of Truth(tm), their coverage of the issue has been abysmal. I'd rather trust independent entities to provide the information on this.

  • 28. Kathleen  |  May 19, 2010 at 6:21 am

    I want to see this approved. I don't see that any of the extremely biased reports using clips from the broadcast to support their skewed views will do any more harm than having Fox news take its cue from NOM et al. On the other hand, I'd like to see (or at least hear) the closing arguments, rather than relying on others to report it.

    Notice that among that media outlets requesting access are CNN and NPR. Not only are they likely to broadcast the arguments in their entirety, I think NPR will make the full audio available online. There is also a request for a webcast. If a full webcast is available, I think it would do a lot to get the truth out there (does that sound too much like Mulder?)

  • 29. Monty  |  May 19, 2010 at 6:28 am

    I don't expect it to hurt much either. I'm just expecting disappointment, based on past experience.

  • 30. Kathleen  |  May 19, 2010 at 6:37 am

    Monty, I hear ya about the disappointment.

    I'm keeping an eye out for any action on this. If Walker responds to this with a document that goes on the docket, I'll get notified as soon as it's filed and will (as always) purchase the document through my PACER account, upload it to Scribd and make it available here.

    p.s. You're welcome, Julia, for notifying you that this letter was filed and passing along the link to it at my Scribd account.

  • 31. Bob  |  May 19, 2010 at 9:15 am

    well agian, it's revealing to here others opinions, and maybe cause for some actions

    First off Kathleen, thanks again but even louder THANKS!!!!!!!
    THANK YOU, we can't say it enough, but especially now, cause I never thought for a second you wouldn't just rush right out and purchase the copies on your own time, with your own resources , and make them accessible, cause I guess I've been just taking that for granted, it's what you've been doing so generously, through all this time, THANK YOU at very least the choir will get it's song sheets, and we need those.

    I think you make an execellent point, our side could request the full webcast to be broadcast at least once, that means if they get they're opportunity, they are forced to show the whole thing word for word ONCE for everyone to hear , they can do their snip and cut, and soundbites afterwards, that could be part of the requirements of this type of reporting.

    And as for this site, as someone mentioned below, there is a hudge risk in not deleting certain posts, I'm very proud that Courage Campaign has allowed us to take this risk, Personally they could destroy us, if they took certain oosts and broadcast them, cause we just let it all out, and I think we appreciated a place to do that, no censorship, good with the bad, thinking back on it, I over the course of time have been very vocal, opinionated, may be a more appropriate choice of words, and at times was invovled in dust ups with differing opinions, but I don't regeret anything I said, because I poured out my very soul into these discussions, I think we all gave of ourselves we're in this battle one hundred percent, and dam well proud of being on this side of history
    We need more discussions like the one Ronnie posted down below about our brother Mohammed, part of the rainbow people, who happens to originate from Iran, and the conditions he deals with on a daily basis.
    Can the world not see why he wants to be an American, meaning a person who left their homeland because of persecution, it's time for our immigration to begin, WE THE RAINBOW PEOPLE ARE COMING TO AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 32. Ronnie  |  May 19, 2010 at 9:23 am

    I concur…..<3…Ronnie

  • 33. Kathleen  |  May 19, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Bob, Julia and everyone, I owe an apology for my rather snippy post above. I was in a pissy mood and it came out in a less than mature way. I do this (getting court filings) because I want to and it's not necessary to say anything about it. Anyway, my apologies for my childish comment. Perhaps we can let this just fade away?

  • 34. Bob  |  May 19, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Kathleen, funny how we interpret or misinterpret from time to time, I never read anything sniippy about your comment,

    Just so you know my thanks to you were motivated purely from the heart, and to honor the realization of whot you have done for us all.

  • 35. Kathleen  |  May 19, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Thank you, Bob.

  • 36. Ronnie  |  May 19, 2010 at 4:31 am

    Mohammed Abdollahi is apart of the sit-in Immigration protest at Senator McCain's office in Tucson, Arizona this past Monday….you might say "good for him"….or…."brave young man"

    YOU HAVE NO IDEA how brave he is….

    He is risking his life for equality…Mohammed is an undocumented 24yo Gay Iranian who has been in America since the age of 3 and may face deportation to a country where Lesbians and Gays are tortured and even executed…..

    WE CANNOT LET THIS HAPPEN….Michigan Rep. Kim Meltzer(R) even said "So the fact an individual comes here because they choose a specific lifestyle that is illegal in their own country doesn’t necessarily mean they should get amnesty here"…"That’s an unfortunate scenario,"…"I think it’s terrible you can be executed for that, but how is that America’s problem?"

    (me) 1st-He didn't choose to come here. His parents brought him here when he was 3

    2nd-Then what the f$%k is our tax money and military being used for over there?…..YOU ARE SENDING THIS KID TO HIS DEATH….YOU MIGHT AS WELL TIE THE NOOSE AROUND HIS NECK YOURSELF YOU INHUMAN B!TCH!!!…….. >[ ….Ronnie

  • 37. Ronnie  |  May 19, 2010 at 4:32 am


  • 38. Monty  |  May 19, 2010 at 4:54 am

    Seriously, how can the politicians just say "not my problem"? Do they have no conscience?

  • 39. Ronnie  |  May 19, 2010 at 5:12 am

    Clearly they don't…what I find funny…is the hypocrisy…

    -the Holocaust was "not our problem"….America stepped in
    -Uganda is "not our problem"….although not much… America is stepping in
    -Saddam Hussein was "not our problem"…America stepped in
    -Korea, Cuba, Apartheid, The Berlin Wall, none of them "were our problem"…..America stepped in

    but the America, the land of the free that promotes Liberty, Democracy, and Human Rights, sending a a young gay man to his death is ok because "its not our problem"?

    I say….."DEPORT MOHAMMED!!….DEPORT US ALL!!!"… >[ …..Ronnie

  • 40. Monty  |  May 19, 2010 at 5:36 am

    It's even worse in this case, though, because we aren't merely guilty through inaction, but deliberately choosing to send him to a place where he will most likely die.

  • 41. Ronnie  |  May 19, 2010 at 9:26 am

    I need to apologize though… I misspelled his first name….His name is Mohammad Abdollhahi….. <3…Ronnie

  • 42. Andrea  |  May 19, 2010 at 5:33 am

    She didn't say he "chose" to be here. She said he "chose" to be gay – excuse me, to live that "specific lifestyle." What-ever.

    We know every rabid 'phobe who speaks in "choice" language is either a closet-case or has someone in the family they're ashamed of. Time to start digging. 😉

  • 43. Monty  |  May 19, 2010 at 5:37 am

    Sounds like it's time to dust off the old "did you choose to be straight?" line again. When will they learn?

  • 44. Ronnie  |  May 19, 2010 at 5:45 am

    I'm not sure they will ever learn….It's haterosexual arrogance

    We repeatedly tell them that we did NOT choose to be Gay….we were BORN Gay….

    we have to accept their "word" as truth…but they don't have to accept ours….please….AS IF…. : / ….Ronnie

    p.s. not only does "Ego" and arrogance fall under Pride…one of the 7 deadly sins…they're also very ugly and unattractive qualities in a human.

  • 45. Monty  |  May 19, 2010 at 5:50 am

    Oh yeah, I forgot. They don't need learning. The Bible tells them everything they need to know about human sexuality.

  • 46. Ronnie  |  May 19, 2010 at 5:53 am

    Yeah….like "Traditional" Marriage is relationship btw. an "ex-gay", his wife, and the Rentboy he hired to "carrie" his luggage…..

    FAIL…. :"> ….Ronnie

  • 47. Kathleen  |  May 19, 2010 at 5:55 am

    I think it's also a basic lack of empathy and imagination. They're only able to see the world from their own (narrow) perspective. They're straight just because that's the way everyone should be and to them it's a sign of weakness, immorality, etc., that someone would even entertain choosing such a deviant lifestyle. It doesn't occur to them that someone else's experience could be so completely different from their own for any reason other than choosing to be deviant.

  • 48. Monty  |  May 19, 2010 at 6:00 am

    That may also be why actors tends to be so gay-friendly, since it's probably easier to understand the situation of other people when you're used to pretending to be other people.

  • 49. Kathleen  |  May 19, 2010 at 6:07 am

    I think it is also why people in creative pursuits, in general, and those with more education are more likely to embrace equality.

  • 50. Richard A. Walter (s  |  May 19, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Once he is returned to Iran, he is faced with the following three alternatives:
    1) Enter into a heterosexual "marriage" and renounce his sexual orientation (at least publicly)
    2) Undergo forced gender reassignment surgery
    3) Endure being stoned to death

    How can they be so inhumane?
    Oh, wait, I forgot–the are following their versionm of G-d's law.

  • 51. Ed  |  May 19, 2010 at 6:00 am

    so i posted this on NOM's site….

    Posted May 19, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Permalink
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    200K could have fed a lot of homeless people. 200K could have been used to help the unemployed. 200K could have been better spent. I have to wonder if the NOM people are interested in helping out the less fortunate. I'm guessing not, instead they have to keep the evil gays from civil marriage.

    Now thats a cause to be proud of. (Major sarcasm)
    (lets see if it survives moderation… guessing it wont)

  • 52. Monty  |  May 19, 2010 at 6:02 am

    Since when has NOM (or any of the other hateful organizations, for that matter) ever tolerated opposing views? If that comment makes it, I'll eat my hat.

  • 53. Kathleen  |  May 19, 2010 at 6:26 am

    From the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center — Constance and Derek will be honored at Life Out Loud, June 12:
    "This year LifeWorks will honor Constance McMillen, the Mississippi teen whose school canceled prom rather than let her attend with her girlfriend, and Derrick Martin, the Georgia teen whose parents kicked him out of the house when his plans to take a male date to prom generated media attention. Both will receive the Courage Award at the event."

    For anyone who wants to attend, there's a link to the event on the Center's facebook page. (alas, too pricey for my budget)!/LAGayCenter

  • 54. couragecampaign  |  May 19, 2010 at 6:46 am

    Thanks Kathleen!

    I had the press story but not letter. Thanks so much for putting it up on Scribed.

  • 55. Don in Texas  |  May 19, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Many arguments by attorneys before the 9th Circuit Appeals Court have been televised. Since this establishes a precedent, there is little reason to think that Judge Walker would deny the request to televise closing arguments in the Perry case or that the 9th Circuit would overturn his decision. That leaves the matter squarely before the Supreme Court and it appears that their objections in the prior case have been met in the instant case.

    Let's hope fairness and fair play will prevail.

  • 56. Ed  |  May 19, 2010 at 7:13 am

    nope, just checked their site….comment deleted…lol

  • 57. Monty  |  May 19, 2010 at 7:14 am

    Good thing. I like that hat.

  • 58. Monty  |  May 19, 2010 at 7:21 am

    I admit that this site isn't that friendly toward disagreeing views (but even so, it's better than what goes on in the comments of the vast majority of other political blogs out there), but I don't think there's any moderation aside from posts with multiple links, and I've never seen any comments deleted. They may be ridiculed for their ideas on here, but at least they're allowed to say them.

  • 59. Ed  |  May 19, 2010 at 7:18 am

    not surprised in the least tho. (about the comment, not about the hat)

  • 60. Ed  |  May 19, 2010 at 7:28 am

    and that was basically the point i was trying to make on their site, knowing good and well it'd be deleted

  • 61. Ed  |  May 19, 2010 at 7:40 am

    then i sent one to them, saying….so how much does NOM value freedom of speech?

    awaiting delention

  • 62. Ed  |  May 19, 2010 at 7:40 am

    deletion….i cant spell

  • 63. Joel  |  May 19, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Off topic, but is there any new news about the trial in MA that's challenging section three of DOMA?

  • 64. Ronnie  |  May 19, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Please sign this petition to overturn the "convicted" verdict of a gay Malawi couple!……<3…Ronnie



  • 65. Carvel  |  May 20, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    How in the world could the judge grant a request to record, broadcast or televise the oral arguments when the US SUPREMES have blocked the broadcase or recording of the trial. Think that the Supremes mean no when they say no. It is not no unless they ask again.

  • 66. Kathleen  |  May 20, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Carvel, read the original Supreme Court orders, available at links from this page:

    Also, note that the court has the following statement at that site:
    "Broadcasting closing arguments would require Chief Judge Walker to request that these arguments be included in the Ninth Circuit's pilot program and approval of that request by Chief Judge Kozinski. No such request has been made."

    This suggests that it's possible to make such a request.

  • 67. Prop 8 Lawyer Wants Closi&hellip  |  May 24, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    […] during closed arguments closed to cameras. He penned letter to Judge Walker in response to the one last week from the Media Coalition. Advocate: In a letter to U.S. district judge Vaughn R. Walker, attorney […]

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