The 9th Circuit of Appeals panel considering the appeal to Judge Walker's ruling today declined to force him to return copies of the Prop. 8 trial videos. Instead, they issued an order kicking it back down to the District Court, presumably Judge James Ware who now has the case after Judge Walker's retirement. The judges noted that this is really a question of whether to lift the protective order Walker himself issued, a matter they said only the District Court controls.
So what's going on here? Why are Prop. 8's attorneys going after Walker on the tapes and his relationship? What do they hope to gain? Perhaps the real audience is the U.S. Supreme Court -- laying seeds of doubt with them about Walker the person and Walker the Judge. The Supremes, after all, may ultimately decide this case.