On the Volokh Conspiracy, former federal district judge Paul Cassell agrees that Judge Walker’s actions are “bizarre”:
I agree with Whelan that it seems highly unusual for a judge to authorize televised proceedings for this particular case as part of some new “pilot” project to see how televised proceedings work. Surely if there were going to be a test run of a new idea, it should be in a more run-of-the-mill case rather than this particular highly controversial one. Moreover, it does appear that public comment process has been completely short-circuited.
I’ll add that several folks have contacted me to tell me how much respect they had had for Walker as a judge—and how shocked they are by his shenanigans in this case.