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BREAKING NEWS: SCOTUS Blocks YouTube Broadcast for 48 Hours; Prop 8 Open Thread

UPDATE 3 (From Autumn, 3:00 PM EST): Copy of stay included below the fold.

UPDATE 2 (1:03 pm EST) – I just got home from the Nakamura Federal building in Seattle, where a live feed was set up.  None of the guards knew anything about it, as it appears to not have been on their daily schedule.  But sure enough the screen was set up in the courtroom we’d been told about online.  I got there at 8:10 and the feed had already gone live.  It was a large flat screen split into 4 windows, one for the judge, one for counsel, one for the witness box and one showing the courtroom where I was sitting.  At about 8:20 it stopped.  The court librarian came in close to 8:30 and after discovering the situation, went online and found the AP story about Justice Kennedy’s decision.

Interesting to note: I was the ONLY person who showed up to watch the live feed. (update: i’m glad to see that many people made an effort to watch, but were turned away at the door.  guess i was just the anomaly that got through.)  I suppose people monitoring the web en route may have turned back early.  Big shout out to the librarian.  Don’t know if he reads PHB, but if so, thank you for your kind assistance! –Lurleen

UPDATE #1, 1pm EDT/ 10am PDT- Just got word of Campaign Courage blogsite newly set up- with the news of the YouTubes being blocked, this sort of “on the ground” info share is gonna be key.

So bookmark Campaign Courage’s “Prop 8 Trial Tracker”

Also, here is Yahoo’s take on the SCOTUS block; h/t Pam.

12:15pm EDT/ 9:15 PDT- Just walking in the door and will editing this/ popping in content… but from a quick scan of my emails, the sh*t has hit the fan, as SCOTUS has blocked the YouTube broadcasts for at least 48 hours.

So- gimme your info and let’s build this up for discussion, folks…


AP story:

Court blocks taping of gay marriage trial

The Associated Press

Monday, January 11, 2010; 11:07 AM

The Supreme Court is blocking a broadcast of the trial on California’s same-sex marriage ban, at least for the first few days.

The federal trial is scheduled to begin later Monday in San Francisco. It will consider whether the Proposition 8 gay marriage ban approved by California voters in November 2008 is legal.

The high court on Monday said it will not allow video of the trial to be posted on, even with a delay, until the justices have more time to consider the issue. It said that Monday’s order will be in place at least until Wednesday.

Reactions and more below the fold; this is a breaking story and post will be updated.Just got this press release from Courage Campaign:



January 11, 2010

Statement on Supreme Court ruling to delay decision on YouTube broadcasts of Proposition 8 federal trial

LOS ANGELES, CA – Rick Jacobs, Chair of the 700,000-member Courage Campaign, released the following statement today regarding the Supreme Court’s decision to postpone a decision until Wednesday on the posting of YouTube videos of the Proposition 8 federal trial:

“While we are disappointed that the Supreme Court is postponing public access to the most important civil rights trial in a generation, the opportunity still remains for the nation’s highest court to open up this trial so the American people can witness history. We are confident the Supreme Court court will rule in favor of full transparency so the American people can see the truth that same-sex marriage strengthens our country.”

“In just three days, 140,671 members Americans signed a Courage Campaign letter to Judge Vaughn Walker during the public comment period asking to televise the proceedings of the Prop. 8 trial. Americans care deeply about marriage equality and they clearly want to see and hear this case unfold. It’s time that the debate about marriage equality is seen for what it is — a debate over the rights of our friends and families to live their lives freely.”

Background: Following the court’s announcement last Monday that it was seeking public comment on the proposal to televise the trial the Courage Campaign Institute teamed up with CREDO Action to organize support to publicly televise the proceedings in the federal case to overturn California’s Proposition 8. The letter was signed by 140,671 people calling for a publicly accessible trial. Both organizations presented these signatures to the court Friday morning. A copy of the letter can be seen at:…


Copy of stay from SCOTUS:


Order In Pending Case: Hollingsworth, Dennis, Et Al. V. Perry, Kristin M., Et Al.Upon consideration of the application for stay presented to Justice Kennedy and by him referred to the Court, it is ordered that the order of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, case No. 3:09-cv-02292, permitting real-time streaming is stayed except as it permits streaming to other rooms within the confines of the courthouse in which the trial is to be held. Any additional order permitting broadcast of the proceedings is also stayed pending further order of this Court. To permit further consideration in this Court, this order will remain in effect until Wednesday, January 13, 2010, at 4 p.m. eastern time.

Justice Breyer, dissenting.

I agree with the Court that further consideration is warranted, and I am pleased that the stay is time limited. However, I would undertake that consideration without a temporary stay in place. This stay prohibits the transmission of proceedings to other federal courthouses. In my view, the Court’s standard for granting a stay is not met. See Conkright v. Frommert, 556 U. S. __, __ (2009) (slip op., at 1-2) (Ginsburg, J., in chambers). In particular, the papers filed, in my view, do not show a likelihood of “irreparable harm.”

With respect, I dissent.

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