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Walker says no to televising closing arguments


By Julia Rosen

Well this is a bummer, but unsurprising. AP:

Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker issued a notice Tuesday stating that the final arguments scheduled for June 16 will not be transmitted beyond the San Francisco courthouse where he is hearing the case.

There is no reasoning that I can find, just this notice, which is now posted on the U.S. District Court website:

Chief Judge Walker has scheduled closing arguments in Perry v. Schwarzenegger for June 16, 2010 at 10:00 A.M. The proceedings are scheduled to end at 4:00 p.m., although the exact time cannot be predicted. A ruling is not expected on the day of the closing arguments.

All reserved seating passes have been allocated. Very limited seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis for the main courtroom.

Simultaneous video transmission will be available in the ceremonial courtroom on the 19th Floor of the federal courthouse and for media representatives in the court’s media center on the first floor.

There will be no simultaneous transmission of the proceedings outside the courthouse.

We will be liveblogging the proceedings, just like we did the rest of the case and will be doing our best to ensure that what happens inside that courtroom in San Francisco does not stay in that courtroom.

[UPDATE] As noted in the comments, the AP has updated their story and added this note at the bottom:

(This version CORRECTS Corrects to say judge has NOT ruled on media coalition request.)

What we have is a notice posted on the court’s website that there will be no video outside of the courthouse, but not a specific ruling on the Media Coalition request.


  • 1. K!r!lleXXI  |  May 25, 2010 at 6:55 am

    Someone was really angry at Walker the last time, it seems…
    Now he doesn't even want to try televising…

  • 2. K!r!lleXXI  |  May 25, 2010 at 7:00 am

    Funny that the short link to this post is
    — yW… meaning, “Y, Walker? WHY???

  • 3. fiona64  |  May 25, 2010 at 7:00 am

    I look forward to following the proceedings on that day.


  • 4. Bob  |  May 25, 2010 at 7:01 am

    decision made, no more wondering about that, well Done Walker, that's one for our opponents.

  • 5. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  May 25, 2010 at 7:01 am

    This makes me VERY sad indeed. But to Judge Walkers credit he may be doing this so as to not give the 'other side' any additional ammo for thier appeal or SCOTUS case.
    I/we have to trust he knows what he's doing I guess……

  • 6. fiona64  |  May 25, 2010 at 7:19 am

    That thought definitely occurred to me.

    "This whole thing was decided against us because teh evul libruhl media made us look stoopid."

    Never mind that the Yes-on-8/Defendor-Intervenor side did an excellent job of making themselves look stupid without any assistance; that would definitely be their tack on appeal.


  • 7. cc  |  May 25, 2010 at 7:35 am

    I’m not surprised but I would have loved to see the closing statements first hand. Thanks CC for still offering the live blogging service. I must admit I’m hooked and can’t wait to read it. Just hoping my refresh key won’t mind the repeated pounding.

  • 8. Ronnie  |  May 25, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Breakout the Spy Cam Pens….shenanigans….SHENANIGANS!!!!!!….<3…Ronnie

  • 9. Richard A. Walter (s  |  May 25, 2010 at 8:39 am

    This is definitely a shame. I really was hoping that the media would be allowed to broadcast the cosing arguments at least. Hopefully we will se not only the live blogging from CCI, but also the re-enactments.
    Went to the Equality NC Day of Action today. We did not get to speak with both of our legislative representatives from Cumberland County, but we have managed to sway at least one vote from anti-marriage equality to pro-marriage equality, so I guess this is proof that when we get out there, and when we stand up like Harvey always advised us to do, we do see results.

  • 10. Kathleen  |  May 25, 2010 at 9:00 am

    It's also possible Walker figured if he approved the request, D-Is would appeal, and he didn't want to delay the proceedings yet again.

  • 11. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  May 25, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Agreed. And he also doesn't want to add fuel to the fire by appearing to be favoring 'us' over 'them'…at least not at this point in time.

  • 12. Kathleen  |  May 25, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Hmmmm…. what do you make of this?
    "Corrects to say judge has NOT ruled on media coalition request."

  • 13. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  May 25, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Very interesting……………..

  • 14. Kathleen  |  May 25, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Because the AP was part of the media coalition requesting access, I assumed that when the AP reported it had been refused, they were acting on information they had received from the court. But now I see they're not even clear on whether the request has been denied.

    Again, nothing has been entered on the docket. If it is, I'll get notified by email and will post.

  • 15. Cassie  |  May 25, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    What is the media coalition request, anyway? I'm confused. Too many adult terms for this seventeen-year-old. 😛 Hahaha. Anybody?

  • 16. Kathleen  |  May 25, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Hi Cassie,

    The media coalition request refers to this group of TV and radio companies' request to broadcast the closing arguments. See their letter to Walker here:

    p.s. I'm behind on my personal correspondence. 🙂 soon….

  • 17. Ronnie  |  May 25, 2010 at 10:11 am

    "I am very much a military brat & I thrive under stress & under pressure & all that & I love it. I love the physical aspect, the mental aspect, everything. But right now, as far as my conscience goes I cannot continue to serve under this policy."~Anthony Bustos, an active-duty soldier who has completed 2 tours in Iraq.

    05-25-10 BREAKING: SLDN Client, Active-Duty Soldier Comes Out Tonight to Bob Woodruff on ABC World News

    HEY HEY….HO HO….DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL HAS GOT TO GO!!!!!!!!….. >( ……Ronnie

  • 18. Richard A. Walter (s  |  May 25, 2010 at 10:23 am

    This is what Harvey was talking about that we all need to do.As more and more of our men and women in uniform, our combat vbeterans like our current war veterans, and our veterans of past wars burst out of the closets, it will become more and more apparent just how shameful DADT is, and the repeal will be like the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. And I agree with Ronnie–THE REPEAL OF DADT IS LONG OVERDUE!!!

  • 19. Bill  |  May 25, 2010 at 11:14 am

    off topic, but important.

    very scary news:

  • 20. Richard A. Walter (s  |  May 25, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Yes, Bill, this is VERY scary. And to think that this is young people from here in America. That makes it even scarier.

  • 21. Ronnie  |  May 25, 2010 at 11:39 am

    We should report them to homeland security…they are terrorists….. >( ….The scary thing is that they can be connected as far up as Sarah Falin….report them…NOW!!!!…. >( ….Ronnie

  • 22. Billy  |  May 25, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    These people are terrorists. These evangelicals live in their own little fantasy realities, completely oblivious to the world around them, except what they spew to each other. They wallow in their own religious excrement, while totally disregarding facts and science, just to further their own agenda.

    I'm going to start advocating that the blank space in the DSM where homosexuality used to be should have an addition in the form of: Evangelical Disasociative Disorder. This will help us clarify and quantify this mental disease running rampant in our society.

    Since these fundies think it's ok to call for the executions of glbt citizens, can I retort with a request that a lion pit for the christians be added to the front lawn of the white house? I mean, if you're gonna dream, dream big, right?

    (apologize in advance if I offend; late night rant, need sleep)

  • 23. Monty  |  May 26, 2010 at 1:48 am

    Mom was right – punk rock is evil.

  • 24. Kathleen  |  May 25, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    This gets more confusing by the minute.

    CBS reports that the statement suggesting that Walker had made a decision not to allow broadcasting was issued in error, "A clerk for Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco told lawyers representing CBS and other media outlets that no decision had yet been made and indicated that a court official earlier Tuesday had mistakenly posted what appeared to be a ruling on the matter."….

    But then, the same article reports "The document was later removed from the court's website" which, as of 11:30 pm was not the case.

  • 25. James Tuttle  |  May 25, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Hmmm…very bizarre indeed. As much as I would love to see closing arguments, I fear that allowing them will allow a judicial bias argument to be made later…as mentioned previously. I know circumstances concerning who is talking have changed but I'd like to, as close as we are to a verdict, to be mindful of any setbacks that could occur due to a grant of television cameras and the ensuing battle.

  • 26. B&E  |  May 26, 2010 at 4:17 am

    Dear Judge Walker,

    Please allow cameras in your courtroom. It is inappropriate for the federal government to lurk in the shadows away from public view while such a high profile case is deciding the equality of an entire class of persons.


  • 27. Sagian  |  May 26, 2010 at 8:15 am

    I'm just wondering – Can the media coalition appeal a decision TO NOT HAVE cameras in the courtroom the same way the defendants appealed the decision TO HAVE cameras in the courtroom?

  • 28. Bob  |  May 26, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Well the least the media coaliton could do would be to start posting this somewhere on a front page of the mainstream papers. or t.v. newscasts.

    I still haven' seen anything like that, they have admitted the case was historic, but maybe they were just referring to the media coverage aspect.

    When will the front page story break, about the historic verdict to be announced regarding equaltity for all, or continued discrimination, obviously not everyone feels the suspense.

    Obviously the closing arguemnets will be dramatic, and educational, but the focus for me is after all the drama, THE VERDICT!!!!!!

    Our goal is to hear the verdict.

  • 29. Dave P.  |  May 26, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Here in northern California, this request from the Media Coalition to televise the closing arguments was reported (briefly) on broadcast TV news a couple of days ago. But I haven't seen anything in the mainstream print press.

  • 30. Kathleen  |  May 26, 2010 at 9:44 am

    A number of papers ran the AP story. Here is it in the LA Times

  • 31. Bob  |  May 26, 2010 at 10:04 am

    yup, the stories are about the media coverage itself, no mention of the actual details, and significance of the case, no mention of history and science versus religion, nothing that brings the substance of the case to attention

  • 32. Kathleen  |  May 26, 2010 at 10:20 am

    I was responding to Dave P's comment — he said hadn't seen anything in the print press about the request to televise the closing arguments.

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