Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Prop 8 Federal Hearing Transcript Released

(Judge Vaughn Walker.
Credit: Rick Gerharter Photography.)

Even though I was among the lucky few to secure a seat in Judge Vaughn Walker's court room on July 2 for the case management hearing, in the Boies/Olson federal challenge to Prop 8, and I heard all that was said, I still wanted to read a transcript of it.

Unfortunately, there is no requirement forcing the court to make available a free copy of the transcript to the public. I made inquiries with Judge Walker's clerk and the court reporter for that day, and found out it would cost me $75 to obtain the transcript, a figure beyond my means.

I also contacted Chad Griffin and Yusuf Robb of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the backers of the suit challenging Prop 8, and they quickly agreed to provide me with a copy of the transcript, with the understanding I would in turn share it with the larger gay community and any Americans interested in the case. We also discussed repeating the process of them sharing transcripts of future hearings before Judge Walker with me, and then I make them available on the web.

My gay sunshine/open government heart believes we need to insure this lawsuit's proceedings are fully transparent, and I'm going to see if anyone has requested to tape and air video of the hearings, or if audio recordings are available.

This case is incredibly important to gay Americans, and the country, and I'm grateful the folks at the American Foundation for Equal Rights are working with me to bring expanded transparency and engagement to the whole process. Thanks, Chad and Yusuf.

You can find the PDF version of the transcript here, and the text version is here. Both should be accessible without registration.

Here is a snippet from the opening of the July 2 hearing:

THE CLERK: Calling our next case, Civil Docket No.
09-2292, Kristin Perry, et al., versus Arnold Schwarzenegger,
et al.

Counsel, please state your appearances for the

MR. OLSON: Theodore B. Olson, Your Honor, Chief
Judge Walker, for the plaintiffs.

THE COURT: Good morning, Mr. Olson.

MR. OLSON: Good morning, Your Honor.

And thank you for the opportunity so early in the
case, to appear before you and to move it along.
I would like to say --

THE COURT: Are we going to have other appearances?
Let's have all appearances ...

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