The Supreme Court denied the dissemination of video from the Proposition 8 trial today. The court order is here. The 5-4 decision relies on the idea that giving the public five business days to comment on the changing of court rules that would have allowed the broadcast of the trial wasn’t enough. The order says
We are asked to stay the broadcast of a federal trial. We resolve that question without expressing any view on whether such trials should be broadcast. We instead determine that the broadcast in this case should be stayed because it appears the courts below did not follow the appropriate procedures set forth in federal law before changing their rules to allow such broadcasting. Courts enforce the requirement of procedural regularity on others, and must follow those requirements themselves.
I’d like to think that this isn’t an indicator of how the Supreme Court will come out when the trial’s outcome eventually gets to it and more an indicator that the Court that has never liked the idea of being watched by cameras simply is out of step with technology. But, that’s probably my optimism speaking.
Fortunately, the laptops are out and people are liveblogging the trial. I’m following the trial and analysis here, here, and here. This piece is an overview of today’s events, including the questioning of a Proposition 8 supporter and named defendant Hak-Shing William Tam and examination of the role of procreation in determining the meaning of marriage.