After receiving a flurry of letters for and against the idea, U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker is seeking to schedule a hearing next week on whether to allow televised coverage of the Prop 8 trial.
Via his deputy clerk, he sent a e-mail to the various parties today to schedule a hearing for Jan. 6 to consider allowing cameras in the courtroom during the trial, which is scheduled to begin five days later on Jan. 11.
While Ted Olson and David Boies, who seek to overturn Prop 8, favor allowing cameras, along with a coalition of media outlets, including the major networks and the AP, the defendants are against it. Their counsel, Charles Cooper, wrote in a letter to Walker that it may jeopardize the ability to have a fair hearing in that their witnesses fear retribution and harassment --- citing the aftermath of the Prop 8 vote. He also said that because such an idea is largely untested in a trial setting, there are not the proper procedures in place.
Karen Ocamb of the LGBT POV blog writes that Cooper's argument --- that Prop 8 supporters fear for their safety by the public exposure --- "infuruates me." She writes, "Cooper says the Prop 8 supporters he represents fear intimidation? A couple of brief, sporadic economic boycotts are not the equivalent of what the FBI said on Nov. 23 was an 11% increase in hate crimes against gays."
She adds, "Truthfully – given the long long long history of violence against LGBT people – from the biblical “abomination” curse that enabled religious people to justify killing and maiming homosexuals in the name of God, to the murder of the psyches and emotional well-being of LGBT youth, to disdain from family and by extension, society, to lobotomies in the name of mental health, to the LAPD pronouncing us NHI – “no human involved” – I’m truly surprised we are, in the words of Holly Near, “a gentle loving people.”"