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Judge Threatens to Fine No on Prop. 8 Groups Over Documents

Judge Threatens to Fine No on Prop. 8 Groups Over Documents


A federal judge has threatened to fine marriage equality proponents for refusing to turn over campaign documents from California's Proposition 8 ballot initiative, now at the center of a high-stakes legal challenge.

U.S. district judge Vaughn Walker said in a Sunday afternoon order that the court would levy a $2,000 daily fine against the American Civil Liberties Union and Equality California until the documents are turned over.

Closing arguments in the federal lawsuit challenging Proposition 8, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, have yet to be scheduled, though evidentiary trial proceedings concluded in February. The delay is largely the result of ongoing discovery disputes over No on 8 documents, which the ACLU and Equality California have refused to turn over on First Amendment grounds.

Andy Pugno, an attorney defending Prop. 8 in federal court, asserted in a March memo that marriage equality advocates were obligated to release "the same types of internal campaign memos, strategies, and communications that we at had long before already been forced to hand over to them to use as evidence during the trial."

A hearing in the trial is scheduled for Wednesday.

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