JURIST Supported by the University of Pittsburgh
PAPER CHASE NEWSBURSTDigest RSS feedFull RSS feed
Serious law. Primary sources. Global perspective.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Supreme Court blocks YouTube broadcast of Proposition 8 trial
Matt Glenn at 6:07 AM ET

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Wednesday ruled [opinion, PDF] 5-4 that the trial on the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8 [JURIST news archive] same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] ban may not be broadcast because the court did not follow proper procedure when enacting a rule permitting the broadcast. Last week, Judge Vaughn Walker of the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that the trial could be broadcast live to five federal courthouses and posted to the court's YouTube [website] channel. In staying the broadcast, the Supreme Court ruled that there was a significant likelihood that the district court had not allowed enough time for the public to comment between proposing and enacting the rule, which ended a ban on recording court proceedings in certain cases. The Court also found that the high-profile nature of the trial might intimidate witnesses and cause irreparable harm if the rule were not stayed. In an unsigned opinion, the Court stated:


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.

Justice Stephen Breyer filed a dissenting opinion, joined by Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sonia Sotomayor. The Court's order will be in effect until it hears an appeal relating to televised court proceedings.

Wednesday's order continues a temporary stay ordered by the Supreme Court Monday, the same day the trial began [JURIST reports]. Supporters of Proposition 8 have objected to the controversial decision to broadcast the trial proceedings, claiming it would result in witness intimidation. The YouTube broadcast of the case, Perry v. Schwarzenegger [case materials], was to be allowed under an experimental program approved by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] last month that allows cameras in civil, non-jury cases. Proposition 8 was approved [JURIST report] by California voters in November 2008.





Link |  | print | subscribe | RSS feeds | latest newscast | Facebook page

For more legal news check the Paper Chase Archive...


LATEST LEGAL NEWS

 Judge rules Colorado ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional
9:35 AM ET, July 25

 UN rights council to form commission to investigate war crimes in Gaza
9:27 AM ET, July 25

 Seven arrested in $1.6 million StubHub fraud case
1:03 PM ET, July 24

 click for more...

Get JURIST legal news delivered daily to your e-mail!

LATEST FORUM

Unprecedented Notice of Warrantless Wiretapping in a Closed Case
DOMESTIC
Ramzi Kassem
CUNY School of Law

ABOUT

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.

CONTACT

Paper Chase welcomes comments, tips and URLs from readers. E-mail us at JURIST@jurist.org