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01/13/2010

[This video has been removed by the U.S. Supreme Court]

by Jeremy Hooper
Splitting 5-4, the Supreme Court on Wednesday blocked any television broadcast to the general public of the San Francisco federal court challenge to California’s ban on same-sex marriage. The stay will remain in effect until the Court rules on a coming appeal challenging the TV order.
Prop 8 Court TV blocked [SCOTUSBlog]

6A00D8341C503453Ef011168Aa1215970C-1The 5: Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Kennedy

The 4: Stevens, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Breyer

Perhaps we should just be glad that this decision is on cameras, and not our marriages themselves.

***

**UPDATE: Law Dork has the opinion, for those who want to dork out on law

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Your thoughts

Ya know, I really, really hope that Olson and Boies can pull this off with the current SCOTUS setup.

Posted by: Sam | Jan 13, 2010 5:06:50 PM

The question mark is Kennedy. Perhaps Sotomayor, too, but I'm fairly confident there.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jan 13, 2010 5:09:16 PM

Well, it's partly on marriage: REading through to the end of the Court's order, you'll see that they bought into the argument that hate mongers might be harmed if they testified against us on TV.

Yeah, but it's also true that the Court just plain doesn't like cameras, and is pissy about the judge (and the 9th) wanting the nation to see this trail when the Supremes want to hide behind curtains. But yuo have to wonder: Would they have done what they did today had the trail been about something boring to most people?

Posted by: K in VA | Jan 13, 2010 5:14:58 PM

Oh, K, I don't kid myself for a second. If not for the context of the case, this would have gone the other way. I'm sure of it.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jan 13, 2010 5:23:08 PM

I read the decision, and I think that the SC gave way too much weight to the unsupported (undocumented, unproven, unprosecuted, and overblown) "harms" that the hatemongers "experienced" / "fear". And, I fully agree with you JH, in that the context is the reason that they gave so much weight to the non-issue that they describe as, "demonstrated the threat of harm they face if the trial is broadcast." That they hide behind a procedural issue is just subterfuge, in my opinion.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Jan 13, 2010 5:37:55 PM

I don't think that this necessarily portends poorly for our chances when the case reaches the SCOTUS. If I were in Kennedy's shoes, knowing that my "vote" would decide the decision, I might very well vote in favor of prudence and the "appearance" of propriety as well, just to ensure that the accusations of "judicial activism" (or other such nonsense) are even further debased.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Jan 13, 2010 5:54:03 PM

I'm hopeful on SCOTUS, Dick. But Kennedy is def. the one to watch.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jan 13, 2010 6:07:36 PM

What the hell is wrong with Anthony Kennedy?

I know what's wrong with the rest of the five.

Posted by: Evan Hurst | Jan 13, 2010 6:39:37 PM

After Kennedy's recent track record, I don't trust him anymore than I do Scalia to rule correctly.

Posted by: RainbowPhoenix | Jan 13, 2010 8:28:06 PM

As a law student who attends a school with ties to Kennedy (he often shows up and teaches our classes as a surprise and annually attends our Salzburg Institute to teach a course on Human Rights), I'm very disappointed in how he ruled on this.

That said, if anyone wants a better idea on how Kennedy approaches LGBT rights, go dig out a copy of Lawrence v. Texas (2003) which, I believe, is penned by Kennedy. It's a very sympathetic and very solidly decisive decision that abolished the remaining state sodomy laws in our nation (upheld back in the 1980's in Bowers v. Hardwicke...SCOTUS essentially overruled itself in that regard). It leaves us the opportunity to hope, at least.

Also, as Olson himself so intelligently points out, Scalia may never be on our side, but he sure as heck predicted this in Lawrence's dissent where he railed (and scoffed, and whined, and just about everything else) about how this awful, horrid court decision leaves the door wide open for same-sex marriage (I believe he termed it "homosexual marriage," however). How prudent of him. Let's hope, for once, Scalia is right. ;)

Posted by: Aya | Jan 13, 2010 10:07:49 PM

I'm oldschool in my thinking that no court proceedings should be televized, but I know that's just old fashioned on my part.

If they can televize tabloid cases like OJ Simpson, they can televize this. If Maggie or Brian don't want to be on camera, reasonable accomodation can be given by blurring their faces and digitally altering their voices, thus protecting them.

The bottom line is that every scrap of testimony will be public record at some point, and if they're so terrified to testify, they're still going to go on the public record.

Posted by: DN | Jan 13, 2010 11:39:04 PM

I'm fascinated by the narrative that the anti-gay forces have been pushing recently, starting with things said by them during the Proposition 8 campaign itself, that gay people are vindictive and violent and are the aggressors here, which some coverage from the "mainstream" (straight) media seems to support (harassment of Prop 8 supporters).

I can't tell whether their petitioning for the injunction on televising the trial was based on real fear of us, or that pushing the idea of gay people as the aggressors is so important to them that they'd go to the effort to falsely claim fear of harm and build a whole case behind that just in order to cement that idea into the minds of the courts and the public.

Posted by: Donny D. | Jan 14, 2010 12:58:30 AM

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