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Ninth Circuit Overturns Release of Prop 8 Tapes

The Ninth Circuit overturns Judge Ware’s decision to release the district court recordings of the Prop 8 trial, issuing an order that they remain under seal.

In its order, the appellate court writes, “[T]he district court failed to appreciate the nature of the statements that the trial judge had made to the litigants, the specific factual and legal context in which he made them, and the consequences of his having done so. 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. The record compels the finding that the trial judge’s representations to the parties were solemn commitments. We therefore reverse the order of the district court as an abuse of its discretion and remand with instructions to maintain the recording under seal.”

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