Today is officially a court holiday, but someone is awake and working at the district court where the Prop. 8 trial is being held. As of 1:30 pm Monday there were two filings with the court, both from the Yes on 8/defendants side. Before this trial began, Judge Vaughn Walker granted attorneys for two gay couples the right to see internal communications from Yes on 8 supporters -- including email messages. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals later reversed that, saying such disclosure of messages from the “core group of persons engaged in the formulation of campaign strategy and messages” would violate their First Amendment rights. Today’s filings by defense attorneys seek to expand the “core group” to protect additional individuals from having to divulge these messages. Why is this important? Because opponents of Prop. 8 are trying to build a case that the measure to ban same-sex marriage was based on discriminatory animosity toward gays and lesbians.
Among those who could be called to testify this week are Ron Prentice, the chairman of ProtectMarriage.com, and Frank Schubert, the political mastermind behind successful ad campaigns to stop gay marriage in California and Maine. It now appears the trial will last at least until early next week.