9th Circuit: Don't release the trial tapes

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The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals isn't known for being cautious or conservative. But the three-judge panel hearing the appeal of Judge Vaughn Walker's decision striking down Prop. 8 issued an order stopping Friday's scheduled release of the trial video tapes.

Earlier this month Judge James Ware, Chief of the Northern District, rejected arguments from Prop. 8 backers that the protective seal on the tapes should be extended. Ware ordered the tapes released September 30th -- unless a higher court extends the protective order.

The 9th Circuit hasn't done that -- not yet -- but they do want to hear the case and set a relatively leisurely pace for briefings. Could it be they don't want to send this issue back to the U.S. Supreme Court, which put the kabosh on broadcasting the trial back in January of 2010?

At this rate the 9th Circuit Court could decide the legal merits of this case before they even get to video tapes issue. Or they could just be wanting to slow everything down in hopes of keeping it off the U.S. Supreme Court's docket during a presidential election.

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