Supreme Court Issues a Stay to Prevent Broadcasting of Proposition 8 Case
By Andrew Segna – Edited by Dmitriy Tishyevich
Hollingsworth v. Perry (on application for stay), Case No. 09A648 (U.S., Jan. 13, 2010)
The Supreme Court granted a stay of the order issued by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California for a broadcast of the California lawsuit challenging Proposition 8, which amended the state constitution to define a valid marriage as only between a man and woman. The District Court issued this order following an amendment to a local rule of the District Court that had forbidden broadcasting of trials outside of the courthouse. The court had planned to stream the trial live in federal courts in several other cities and to post it on YouTube as part of a pilot program to test broadcasting of court proceedings. Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an order allowing for real-time broadcasting to five federal courthouses, but did not address broadcasting the trial online due to technical difficulties encountered by the District Court staff. In a per curiam decision, the Supreme Court held that the revision of the local district rule did not follow procedures designated by federal law, found that applicants would suffer irreparable harm if the live broadcast occurred, and granted a stay of the order.
DC Dicta has an overview of the Supreme Court’s decision. SCOTUSblog provides an analysis of the opinion and what it means for the future broadcasting of this challenge to Proposition 8. An editorial in the New York Times criticizes the effect this decision will have on public discussion regarding this case. (more…)