Thursday, January 14, 2010

UPDATE: Supreme Court Extends Stay Blocking Videocast of Prop 8 Trial

WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 29:  Members of the US ...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
If you want to view the constitutional challenge to Proposition 8 banning gay marriage (Perry v. Schwarzenegger, Case No. 3:09-cv-02292) unfolding in a California courtroom since Monday, you better hurry up and book a flight to San Francisco, because it's not playing on YouTube.

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday voted 5-4 to extend the stay of U.S. District Court Judge Vaughan Walker's order that would have permitted real-time broadcast streaming of the trial imposed Monday  [see "TUOL" post 1/11/10]. The trial is likely to end before further consideration of the plan that would have transmitted audio and video of the trial via YouTube and the court's Web site to other courthouses nationwide can occur.

Dissenting justices of the unsigned opinion were Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John Paul Stevens, and Stephen Breyer. Breyer deemed it "inappropriate, as well as unnecessary" to interfere with local judicial administration, and wrote that "the public interest weighs in favor of providing access to the courts."

The majority of the High Court bought into the argument of those seeking to freeze Judge Walker's order that broadcasting the trial would cause "irreparable harm" that could include intimidation and harassment of  witnesses opposed to gay marriage.

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1 comment:

  1. I'm with the dissenting justices on "access to the courts".

    "Irreparable harm", 'that could include intimidation and harassment of witnesses' could apply in cases involving organized crime, biker gangs, and domestic violence, to name a few.