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This just in from the district court in San Francisco on the next steps in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case:

The Perry v. Schwarzenneger hearing will commence at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, June 13, 2011, in Courtroom 10, 19th Floor, in the Phillip Burton Federal Building and United States Courthouse, San Francisco.

Chief District Court Judge James Ware will preside, having taken over the case from retired District Court Judge Vaughn R. Walker when the latter retired in February, 2011.

Seating in the Courtroom will be limited.  There are a total of 36 seats that have been reserved for credentialed media representatives.  There are no Courtroom media passes for this hearing – seating for media in the seats that have been set aside will be on a first come/first seated basis.  Media representative seeking seating in the Courtroom will need to show some form of official press credentials issued by the organization that you represent.

As before, there will be overflow seating in the Ceremonial Courtroom, also on the 19th Floor, where a live video feed will be available.

Additionally, the Media Center on the first floor (Turk street side of the building) will be open at 8:00 a.m. on the day of the hearing.

(NOTE:  The Turk street entrance is now reserved for building employees – all members of the public, including the media, are required to enter the building and go through screening via the Golden Gate Avenue plaza entrance).

Questions may be addressed through:

The Prop 8 email account at: perryprop8@cand.uscourts.gov
(Preferred method of communicating with the Media Liaison representative)

or by calling: (415) 522-4051

Thank you,

The ECF Help Desk for the Northern District of California
http://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov

The hearing will cover two important issues. The first is whether Judge Walker should have been disqualified from hearing the Prop 8 case because, as a gay man in a relationship, the outcome affected him.  Of course, this is a ludicrous claim since if a judge’s private familial life is relevant to how he or she would rule in this case, married heterosexual judges should be considered biased in favor of the plaintiffs.  This kind of tactic is a familiar one from the bad-0l’ days of race-based civil rights litigation.  As Sherrilyn Ifill, a law professor at the University of Maryland, reminded us in a recent blog post:

Under federal recusal statutes, judges should be disqualified from hearing cases in which they are actually biased, but should also withdraw from cases in which their impartiality might reasonably be questioned. In the late 1970s and early 1980s — as a bumper crop of minority federal district judges appointed by President Jimmy Carter presided over employment-discrimination cases brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — recusal motions were filed by defendants seeking to remove black judges from hearing these cases. Black judges pushed back firmly against attempts to question their impartiality and framed what has become the universally accepted understanding among the bench and bar: that judicial bias cannot be assumed based on the racial, gender or other status of the judge.

In perhaps the most famous of these cases, lawyers representing the New York law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell requested that federal district judge Constance Baker Motley recuse herself from hearing a case brought by women lawyers at the firm who charged discrimination in hiring and promotion. The law firm’s motion for recusal was based on Judge Motley’s status as a black woman and her professional experience as a former civil rights lawyer.

The second issue is whether the public should be denied access to the video record of the trial.

4 comments

  1. Did Judge Walker's Homosexuality Disqualify Him From Judging Fairly in Perry? Hearing Scheduled for Next Monday http://wp.me/ploC4-11W

  2. …..Reporters and cameras will be barred from a key evidence hearing in the case against four men accused of fatally shooting former Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor during a botched 2007 robbery at his home a judge ruled Wednesday. ..Via Riggos Rag. .April 06 2011..ESPN.com reports .MIAMI The accused shooter in the 2007 killing of former Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor wants the media barred from a key hearing..A Miami-Dade County judge set a hearing Wednesday on the request from 20-year-old Eric Rivera Junior His attorney contends that an upcoming hearing on what evidence will be allowed could jeopardize Riveras chances for…….. A Miami-Dade County judge set a hearing Wednesday on the request from 20-year-old Eric Rivera Junior His attorney contends that an upcoming hearing on what evidence will be allowed could jeopardize Riveras chances for a fair trial……

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