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Court May Allow Cameras For Closing Arguments

The U.S. district court in San Francisco has proposed that closing arguments in the trial over the anti-gay-marriage measure Proposition 8 be televised, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

An attempt to televise the entire trial failed after the U.S. Supreme Court intervened, saying the pro-Prop. 8 side feared its witnesses would be subject to intimidation. The anti-Prop. 8 side had supported televising the proceedings.

The proposal to televise the closing arguments was posted on the court's website, and the court has taken public comments on it. The plan to televise the full trial had received overwhelmingly positive comments from the public before the Supreme Court quashed it.

No date has been set for closing arguments; Judge Vaughn Walker had postponed them until after he received a final round of briefs, due Friday.

As no official broadcast plan for the trial has presented, Andrew Pugno, a lawyer for the Prop. 8 sponsors told the Chronicle, "We're not going to speculate on how we would feel about that."

A lawyer not involved in the case, Thomas Burke, said that as the closing arguments include no witness or expert testimony, intimidation concerns "are not present in closing arguments." Burke, a lawyer for Chronicle owner Hearst Corp., added, "In our view, the more access, the better, regardless of which side you're on."

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