Prop. 8 lawyers “want to hide the fact that they want to hide what happened in the trial”

On Monday, there’s a hearing in San Francisco federal court over whether or not to release the videotapes of the original trial. The proponents of Prop. 8 are desperate to keep those tapes sealed. So, desperate, that yesterday, I got a notice from the Court stating, “We will not be recording Monday’s Perry hearing as the Defendant-Intervenors do not consent.”

The AFER legal team held a conference call yesterday to discuss the upcoming hearing. Lisa Keen reports:

Ted Boutrous, one of the lead attorneys for plaintiffs challenging Proposition 8, said in a phone conference call with reporters Thursday that he finds an irony in Yes on 8’s request to bar recording of the upcoming hearing.

“They want to hide the fact that they want to hide what happened in the trial,” said Boutrous.

Ted Olson, lead attorney on the AFER legal team, said he believes Yes on 8 attorneys are reluctant to let members of the public “see with their own eyes and hear with their own ears” how Yes on 8’s two witnesses gave testimony that undermined Yes on 8’s position.

Olson said support for the release of the videotapes is “grounded in the First Amendment” and in the traditions of the nation’s courts to provide open proceedings.

Keen reports that Boutrous will be making the case for our side on Monday. I watched him in action during the “Judge Walker has a boyfriend” hearing last June. He’s very good.

This is an important issue. The Prop. 8 lawyers had no case. As David Boies stated so eloquently after the Prop. 8 decision:

“In a court of law you’ve got to come in and you’ve got to support those opinions, you’ve got to stand up under oath and cross-examination,” Boies said. “And what we saw at trial is that it’s very easy for the people who want to deprive gay and lesbian citizens of the right to vote [sic] to make all sorts of statements and campaign literature, or in debates where they can’t be cross-examined.

“But when they come into court and they have to support those opinions and they have to defend those opinions under oath and cross-examination, those opinions just melt away. And that’s what happened here. There simply wasn’t any evidence, there weren’t any of those studies. There weren’t any empirical studies. That’s just made up. That’s junk science. It’s easy to say that on television. But a witness stand is a lonely place to lie. And when you come into court you can’t do that.

There wasn’t any evidence.

We’re also seeing that lack of evidence play out in Edie Windsor’s DOMA lawsuit. John Boehner’s legal team, led by Paul Clement, is trying to sneak in the testimony of the likes of Maggie Gallagher, without subjecting them to cross-examination. And, Clement even tried to subvert the work of Professor Lisa Diamond, which prompted her to state, “They have completely misrepresented my research.”

The anti-marriage side has no case, besides their antipathy towards gays and lesbians. But, they don’t want the world to know that. So, they’re trying to keep the trial tapes secret.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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