UPDATE: Judge Walker Responds to Motion Claiming He Violated Judicial Rules, Defied Supreme Court


From the SCOTUS blog:

Retired U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker told the Ninth Circuit Court Thursday that he had played in public lectures a portion of videotape, three minutes in length, from the trial on the constitutionality of the Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage in California. In a two-page letter responding to a challenge by the ballot measure’s proponents, he said he would return the videotape in his possession if told to do so.  His use of the portion, he said, had occurred twice, as part of a talk on cameras in the courtroom, and he added that he had used it in a law school class he is teaching.  His letter did not mention the proponents’ charge that his action had defied the Supreme Court.

Here is our press release introducing the Motion Walker is responding to (by not really responding to it).

Legal Scholar Ed Whelan is not impressed by Walker's response:

Walker has thus confirmed the factual basis for Prop 8 proponents’ charge that he has violated his own order placing the video recordings under seal, that he has violated the Northern District of California’s local rules barring transmission of trial proceedings beyond “the confines of the courthouse,” and that he has acted in defiance of the Supreme Court’s ruling barring broadcast of the trial proceedings—a ruling that weighed heavily, in its balance of equities, the threat of harm and harassment that pro-Prop 8 witnesses would face from broadcast.

What legal defense does Walker offer? Walker simply asserts that he “decided that in the presentation on February 18 at the University of Arizona it would be permissible and appropriate to use the actual cross-examination,” but he does not accompany that assertion with any explanatory reasoning.

... What ought to be difficult for the American people to accept is Walker’s utterly lawless course of misconduct throughout the proceeding and continuing even into his retirement.