Please Write Letters! Open the Prop 8 Trial to Cameras

Judge Vaughn Walker set a very short comment period for the public to weigh in on whether cameras should be permitted in his federal courtroom for the Boies/Olson challenge to Proposition 8 here in San Francisco. Letters are due by FRIDAY JANUARY 8th and must be delivered in hardcopy.

From Karen Obamb of LGBT POV:

As Ted Johnson at Variety’s reported earlier – US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker received so many letters for and against broadcasting the Jan. 11 federal challenge to Prop 8 that he decided to hold a hearing on the issue. That hearing is set for Wednesday in San Francisco.

The legal team of Ted Olson and David Boies support opening the courtroom to a pool TV camera (operated by In Session TV, formerly Court TV) – while Prop 8 supporters argue against it. HOW they argued against it set me off since they suggest that any pro-Prop 8 witnesses would be subject to possible harassment and intimidation if their faces were broadcast. I noted that gays have been the ones who’ve suffered actual hate crimes in the post-Prop 8 era.

Here’s what the bigots have to say to their supporters, in their attempt to drum up letters opposed to the cameras in the courtroom:

The Proposition 8 trial is set to begin Jan. 11. Following a short public-comment period – only five business days – the battle could bring a circus-like atmosphere. Chief Judge Vaughn Walker is considering allowing video cameras in the courtroom.

Ron Prentice, executive director of, is concerned Walker’s decision could cause problems for proponents of Prop. 8 who have already come under attack.

“Intimidation and harassment will continue,” Prentice said. “And, those who are put on the stand or are seen in the courtroom may very well be recognized and further intimidation or harassment may continue.”

If you can write a letter and send it TODAY or TOMORROW please address these officials respectfully and politely:

Hon. Phyllis Hamilton

Chair of the Rules Committee

United States Courthouse

1301 Clay Street

Oakland, CA 94612

Hon. Vaughn Walker

Chief Judge

United States Courthouse

450 Golden Gate Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94102

Thanks for any letters you can write. As the premier website for introducing live-blogging to America during the trial of Scooter Libby, the FDL community has a unique insight to the value of completely transparent legal proceedings.

Thank you.

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