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  • No Cameras in Prop 8 Marriage Case

    The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 late yesterday that a federal judge in San Francisco had acted improperly in altering longstanding rules barring the televising of federal court proceedings. As a result, the federal trial of Proposition 8, the state constitutional amendment on the definition of marriage adopted in November 2008 by California voters, will not be broadcast to the nation via YouTube, posting to the Internet, or any other medium.

    The ruling is a victory for proponents of the amendment, who argued that the presiding judge in the case, Vaughn Walker, had tilted the table against them, dismissing longtime concerns about the impact of cameras on fair trials and short-circuiting even minimal standards for notice-and-comment of his decision to open the trial to webcasting. Defenders of Prop 8 also provided evidence to buttress concern that video transmission of the trial would subject expert witnesses who defend traditional marriage to various forms of harassment and reprisal, citing this paper by Heritage Visiting Fellow Thomas Messner. The Supreme Court today cited those concerns in holding that the proponents of Prop 8 had adequately demonstrated irreparable harm to the case if the trial were broadcast.

    The Court concluded, “The District Court attempted to change its rules at the eleventh hour to treat this case differently than other trials in the district. Not only did it ignore the federal statute that establishes the procedures by which its rules may be amended, its express purpose was to broadcast a high-profile trial that would include witness testimony about a contentious issue. If courts are to require that others follow regular procedures, courts must do so as well.” Given the length of the remaining trial – two or three weeks – observers believe that the Court’s stay may be the effective end of the effort to webcast the proceedings.

    Posted in Legal [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to No Cameras in Prop 8 Marriage Case

    1. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      Excellent call by the Supreme Court. Every protection should be afforded witnesses, et al from emotionally charged and/or criminally driven retributive actions. My personal view is the people's vote was not discriminatory. Homosexual relationships are a lifestyle choice not dependent upon one's physical makeup such as gender, race or disability.

    2. stirling, Pennsylvan says:

      Nice to see some sanity brought back into this case. The last thing this case needs is to be turned into the O.J Simpson trial from years ago (that was a joke). When all the distractions are taken out of a case then people can actually decide fairly on the case based on it's merits and the rule of law.

    3. Heidi, Maine says:

      How utterly ridiculous. A trial is a matter of public record unless it is specifically closed to the public by the court. Therefore, if anyone was so inclined to commit acts of harassment, violence or intimidation against any one of the trial participants, they could very easily find out who is involved. The Prop 8 supporters are simply cowards who don't dare to make their arguments to a national audience so that the country can see just how utterly stupid they really are.

      And Mr. Hughes, please, tell me how it is that you know that "Homosexual relationships are a lifestyle choice not dependent upon one’s physical makeup such as gender, race or disability." Let me guess–you think that it's possible that people could be born gay or lesbian (but you doubt it), but that they should live lives of celibacy and loneliness because your judgmental and angry God tells you so. How kind and compassionate of you. Very Christ-like. Ugh. Wkae me up when the people of this country remember our pledge of "life, liberty and justice for all."

    4. stirling, Pennsylvan says:

      Heidi, Maine "The Prop 8 supporters are simply cowards who don’t dare to make their arguments to a national audience so that the country can see just how utterly stupid they really are."

      So Heidi, why can't you accept the will of the people? The peoples vote was shown over and over again in a public elections that the people of California did not want this. The people (supporters of Prop 8) are just legally standing up for their beliefs, which is their right under the consitution. If you can't accept the results then your attack on Mr. Hugh rings shallow in it's arguement.

    5. Tiger M, MN says:

      QUOTE:"Homosexual relationships are a lifestyle choice not dependent upon one’s physical makeup such as gender, race or disability."

      But there lies the problem. Marriage does rely on the gender of the person you fall in love with and chose to marry. There for it is DISCRIMINATION. That a man can not marry a man…yet a woman can, and woman can not marry a woman, yet a man can. That IS GENDER DISCRIMINATION! It's only considered equal if you are heterosexual.

    6. Joe says:

      "My personal view is the people’s vote was not discriminatory. Homosexual relationships are a lifestyle choice not dependent upon one’s physical makeup such as gender, race or disability."

      Christianity is also a lifestyle choice not dependent upon one's physical makeup such as gender, race or disability. Maybe we should ban Christians from marrying then.

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