02/02/2012 04:15 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

The Spirit vs. the Letter of the Law: Thoughts on the 9th Circuit Ruling Against Release of Prop 8 Tapes

Count me as one of those disappointed by the ruling today that the video recordings of the Prop 8 trial will not be released.

The Los Angeles Times summarized the ruling (available in its entirety here) thus: "'The trial judge on several occasions unequivocally promised that the recording of the trial would be used only in chambers and not publicly broadcast," the panel said."

I totally "get" that the original commitment about the trial tapes was a clear articulation that they would not be released to the public, and I can understand how the panel came down on the "letter of the law" side of the argument. And...

My wondering is: where does that original intent rub up against the orchestrated post-ruling effort by supporters of marriage discrimination to vacate Judge Walker's ruling with the specious argument that he ruled Prop 8 unconstitutional because he's gay when the truth of the matter is he ruled Prop 8 unconstitutional because it is, and because supporters utterly failed to make their case during the trial?

If Jesus was right and "the truth will set you free," then don't the people of California deserve to see for themselves the truth of the lame argumentation presented to defend the efforts of a bare majority of Californians to write discrimination into our Constitution?

And if the court is going to hold to the letter of the law on this one, let's trust that they are equally disposed to hold to the letter of the equal protection part of the law when they rule on the constitutionality issue next. Tick, tock!