Update Friday, Dec 9: You can listen to the complete audio archive of yesterday's hearing below:
- Part 1: Hearing on whether to release the Prop 8 trial video
- Part 2: Hearing on whether Judge Vaughn Walker should have recused himself because of his long-term same-sex relationship
Also, here's Scott Shafer's report from this morning's California Report, where you'll hear some of the highlights:
Today a 9th Circuit Court panel heard oral arguments on two ancillary issues in the long-running legal battle to decide the fate of Proposition 8, California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage: Whether to release the video from the Proposition 8 trial, in which Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that Prop 8 was unconstitutional; and whether Walker had a conflict of interest because he was a gay man in a long-term relationship.
Update 7:25 p.m.
Scott Shafer reports:
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will decide whether the federal judge who struck down California's ban on same sex marriage last year should have disclosed his long-term relationship with another man.
Judicial ethics and rules of disclosure require judges to reveal whether they have a personal interest in the outcome of a case before them. Supporters of Prop. 8 argue for that reason Judge Vaughn Walker should have disclosed he was in a long term relationship with another man -- and whether he ever intended to marry him.
Charles Cooper, an attorney for Protect Marriage dot com, told an Appeals Court panel Thursday that a reasonable person could conclude that Judge Walker had a conflict of interest. But several judges questioned that notion.
"A married judge would never be able to hear a divorce?" asked Judge Michael Hawkins.
Arguing for opponents of Prop. 8, attorney David Boies said the disclosure standard promoted by the other side would require any minority judge to reveal whether he or she might take advantage of a pro-civil rights ruling.
Besides the issue of disclosure, the panel took up another question -- whether the Prop. 8 trial tapes be unsealed and made public.
Both of these issues will likely be settled before this same panel rules on the fundamental question -- whether Prop. 8 violates the U.S. Constitution.
Update: 5:00 p.m.