January 19, 2010

Was Ruling on Camers for Prop 8 Trial an Omen For the Larger Question?

When the Supreme Court upheld the ban on broadcasting California's Prop 8 trial, did it show how the votes would go if the issue itself should come before them?  This article from the Los Angeles Times looks at that question:

he U.S. Supreme Court cast its first vote last week on the legal challenge to California's voter initiative barring same-sex marriage, and some experts said it was a bad omen for those who hope gays and lesbians will win a constitutional right to such unions.

The 5-4 decision, with conservatives in the majority, intervened in the San Francisco district court trial on behalf of the defenders of Proposition 8.

The high court rebuked U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker for seeking to give the public a chance to view the proceedings on the Internet. In its opinion, the majority saw the dispute through the same lens as the opponents of gay marriage and decided that they -- not homosexuals -- faced a hostile public climate of harassment and intimidation.

The lawyers challenging the California measure hope to build a convincing case that gays and lesbians, like other minorities, suffer from prejudice and bigotry that requires a remedy from the courts.

But if the lawyers' ultimate audience was the Supreme Court, the justices seemed to be getting a different message. In their opinion, they worried that opponents of gay marriage and their paid witnesses would face "harassment as a result of public disclosure of their support" for the ban. They concluded that the Prop. 8 defenders "have shown that irreparable harm will likely result" if video coverage of the proceedings were made public.

The U.S. district court trial is just the first round in the legal fight over California's ban on gay marriage. After Walker rules on Proposition 8, the losing side will appeal to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. From there, the case is sure to go to the Supreme Court.

Click here to read the rest of the story.

1 comment:

  1. Did the Authors of this article actually read the USSC decision? guess not.. They didn't rule on BROADCASTING.They ruled on LIVE broadcasting to other court houses..