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No cameras in Prop 8 trial

By a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court has barred broadcast of the federal court challenge to Proposition 8, the California referendum that nullified same-sex marriage in the state. I'm deeply saddened to say that I think the court made the right decision.

I would have loved to have had a direct glimpse of the proceedings. But I live and work in Washington, and I am unable to spend two to three weeks in the California courtroom that is hosting the trial. A broadcast -- traditional or over the Internet -- would have been my only chance to witness the potentially groundbreaking proceedings. I'm sure there are lots of folks who feel the same way.

But the conservative justices in the majority -- Chief Justice John G. Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito -- were right in concluding that Judge Vaughn R. Walker, the trial judge in this case, improperly cut corners to jam through novel court rules to allow the first-ever transmission of a federal trial. In the process, he gave short shrift to the concerns of Proposition 8 supporters, who worried that such a broadcast would increase the likelihood that they'd be threatened or harassed.

It is time -- long past time, actually -- that the federal courts entered the 21st century and allowed cameras in the courtroom. This is especially true for cases such as the Prop 8 matter, which trigger heightened public interest. But in moving forward, judges must make sure they respect the procedures already in place. They -- no less than the people who appear before them -- must follow the rules.

By Eva Rodriguez  | January 13, 2010; 6:55 PM ET
Categories:  Rodriguez  | Tags:  Eva Rodriguez  
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Comments

If healthcare reform can pass behind closed doors, then watching court proceedings is the least of our problems. If you have an itch for wathicng justice adminstered, then we already have judge judy.

Posted by: store16 | January 13, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

If a rich person can take time and watch the proceedings, why can't we have television access for the rest of us? If people have to be given hidden identities - why not from everyone? Are the rich somehow superior?

Posted by: gary4books | January 14, 2010 5:35 AM | Report abuse

"we already have judge Judy ..."

For justice?

What a joke.

Posted by: gary4books | January 14, 2010 5:39 AM | Report abuse

>>he gave short shrift to the concerns of Proposition 8 supporters, who worried that such a broadcast would increase the likelihood that they'd be threatened or harassed. <<<

What about the hundreds of lesbians and gays who are beaten up or killed by anti-gay bias every year? What a smokescreen. The real issue is that the Yes on Prop 8 organizers are afraid of cameras because all Americans would then find out that yes, indeed, their entire campaign was based on bigotry and lies.

Although the cameras won't be there, we are lucky than many fine bloggers are covering every minute of the trial. Not the MSM reporters mind you...

Posted by: JDI01 | January 14, 2010 6:16 AM | Report abuse

What is there to hide? Except the ignorance of those oppossed to same-sex marriage.

Posted by: jckdoors | January 14, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Try overturning the vote of the people of California.

Even a "hate crime" law wont protect you!

Posted by: Rubiconski | January 14, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

The Left has a new way of approaching and dealing with anyone who disagrees with them-- blackmail, personal threats and outright thuggery.

The courts have no business helping this perversion of political discourse.

The Left should be roundly condemned for strong-armed threats against Americans using the First Amendment-- the very amendment the Left hates most.

Posted by: AlongTheWatchTowers | January 14, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

It's ironic to see someone complaining about the left using "outright thuggery" right below a comment that seems to imply the desire to commit violence against this very "left." Isn't that an example of using "strong-armed threats against Americans using the First Amendment"?

Posted by: elbrd73 | January 14, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

It's a travesty viewing is not made for one of the most important legal issues of our time. The argument behind not broadcasting is very weak - the interest behind the Prop. 8 support are already known by the gay and lesbian community, and I would assume the Gay and Lesbian witnesses would be at much more risk of hate crimes.

Posted by: Gympmeister | January 14, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

TO: jckdoors who wrote:
“What is there to hide? Except the ignorance of those opposed to same-sex marriage.”
_____________

Why would you say one would have to be ignorant if they oppose same-sex marriage?

I’m sick of repeatedly litigating those who like to take it in the a.s.s.

When are gays going to quit bugging the straights.

Gays have been litigating being gay for decades now. Once they get over one hump, there they are with another.

I can’t approve of any gay marriage because I’m a Roman Catholic, and maybe even if I wasn’t I still wouldn’t want to be drawn into the ongoing problems associated with being “gay”.

Posted by: lindalovejones | January 14, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

When the list of supporters of Prop 8 was published the gay movement castigated those on the list both publicly and privately. The internet posting of this trial would have subjected those testifying for Prop 8 to more public vilifying.

Posted by: chatmandu002 | January 14, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

TO: JDI01 who wrote:
“…What about the hundreds of lesbians and gays who are beaten up or killed by anti-gay bias every year?...”
_______________

Believe it or not, there are millions of Americans who have their own private ways of doing it, and we never seem to find the need to advertise how or when we like to do it.

If I knew, like gays know, that they take part in a way of doing it that’s not necessary popular, why not keep it to yourself?

I never see people out advertising their preference to do it on the floor, or in a room in their house other than the bed room, but gays feel the need to have everybody everywhere not just know what they’re doing but to also approve of their lifestyle, and I don’t know if there will ever be 100% agreement by everybody on any issue, let alone gay issues.

I know I’m pretty sick of having to deal with gays’ sexual preference issues, and never once have I demanded they deal with mine.


Posted by: lindalovejones | January 14, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

The "Church of Jesus Christ" of Latter Day Saints should also be on trial for forming a huge, mutli-state PAC to support Proposition 8 in fraudulent violation of their tax-exempt status as a "religion"

Posted by: coloradodog | January 14, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

lindalovejones wrote:

I’m sick of repeatedly litigating those who like to take it in the a.s.s.

When are gays going to quit bugging the straights.

I can’t approve of any gay marriage because I’m a Roman Catholic, and maybe even if I wasn’t I still wouldn’t want to be drawn into the ongoing problems associated with being “gay”.
____________________________-

Why, then, as a Roman Catholic, do you look the other way while your Church hides those Priests who think they have the God-given right to give it to little boys up the a.s.s.?

When are your gay Priests going to quit buggering the straights?

When is your Ch

Posted by: coloradodog | January 14, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

TO: JDI01 who wrote:
“…What about the hundreds of lesbians and gays who are beaten up or killed by anti-gay bias every year?...”
_______________

Believe it or not, there are millions of Americans who have their own private ways of doing it, and we never seem to find the need to advertise how or when we like to do it.

If I knew, like gays know, that they take part in a way of doing it that’s not necessary popular, why not keep it to yourself?

I never see people out advertising their preference to do it on the floor, or in a room in their house other than the bed room, but gays feel the need to have everybody everywhere not just know what they’re doing but to also approve of their lifestyle, and I don’t know if there will ever be 100% agreement by everybody on any issue, let alone gay issues.

I know I’m pretty sick of having to deal with gays’ sexual preference issues, and never once have I demanded they deal with mine.

===============================

And yet here you are, reading about gay issues?

Posted by: JDI01 | January 14, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

TO: JDI01
“And yet here you are, reading about gay issues? “
______________

This is going on in my back yard, and I voted on this issue.

Therefore, I have reasons to be interested, and I made a relevant statement.

We the people of the State of California voted to keep marriage between a man and woman. Gays didn’t like that so their litigating trying to overturn California voters.

Sorry, were you trying to make a point?


Posted by: lindalovejones | January 14, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

@ lindalovejones
"I can’t approve of any gay marriage because I’m a Roman Catholic, and maybe even if I wasn’t I still wouldn’t want to be drawn into the ongoing problems associated with being “gay”." This is the the very ignorance that perpetuates that hate against homosexuals. You are a repugnant excuse for an american. I suggest you go and read the entire Constitution of the United States of America. Oh but you can put a pretty good spin on that too I would imagine.

Posted by: douglb1 | January 14, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

@ chatmandu002
So you are saying you would support those on a list that were against Prop 8? I doubt the gays went after anyone privately and what is wrong with pro Prop 8 folks being acknowledged publicly. What do they have to hide. I would think they would love to be known publicly so they could drum up some more supporters. Or is it they don't want to be known publicly so no one knows who it is that perpetuated lies to pass a piece of bogus legislation?

Posted by: douglb1 | January 14, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

TO: doug1b1 who wrote:
“This is the very ignorance that perpetuates that hate against homosexuals. You are a repugnant excuse for an American. I suggest you go and read the entire Constitution of the United States of America. Oh but you can put a pretty good spin on that too I would imagine.”
________

Hey, homosexuality is YOUR problem, not mine, and speaking of repugnant -- that would mean you because homosexuality is NOT the norm in this country.

I don’t need to read anything just because I don’t support overt homosexuality, nor will I be silenced just because I don’t support your particular position.

All I’m saying is, homosexuals are demanding acceptance from some of us who prefer not to have homosexuality forced and in our face.

Can’t you folks keep your business undercover like heteros do?

You don’t see us litigating our sexual preferences.

Seems to me that homosexuals are quickly becoming the ones who are “intolerant” and who refuse to accept anyone’s opinion that isn’t the same as theirs.

Posted by: lindalovejones | January 14, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps there is something the Supreme Court Justices would like to hide. But that asides, Prop 8 is a polarizing topic which is why we as citizens demand that we get the opportunity to watch it live.

Posted by: flaxseedsrgood | January 14, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the Supreme Court. Following the Prop 8 vote, the violent homosexuals vandalized businesses and homes of Prop 8 supporters, and also harassed and assaulted them. Under the Hate Crime laws, if you defend yourself against a violent homosexual assault by striking back, then they can charged you with a hate crime. Go figure.

Additionally, no cameras cuts off the avenue of escape for the homosexuals who will argue for a mistrial on the grounds that the publicity affected the outcome, should Prop 8 be upheld.

Posted by: penniless_taxpayer | January 14, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

@ lindalovejones
So you are saying that women kept it undercover to win women suffrage? Or that african americans kept it undercover to win desegregation? Or that interracial couples kept it undercover to win their right to marry? Or that any other minority group keep it undercover in order to gain there rights. Give me a break! You don't have to litigate your rights because you already have them. Except you do flaunt it by the very fact that you campaign against same sex marriage because it isn't "natural" that heterosexual marriage is. Is this not being "overt" and "in your face?" If you didn't flaunt this heterosexual bias then we wouldn't have a need to have these hearings. Intolerant? Is that what you label people for fighting for their rights? BTW, on who's authority do base your comment "because homosexuality is NOT the norm in this country" on? And since you seem to be an expert, which I compare to the likes of Ahmadinejad, what countries is it the norm? And where did I suggest that you be silenced. I didn't say you couldn't voice your opinion but that doesn't mean that I can't denounce it.

Posted by: douglb1 | January 14, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

@penniless_taxpayer
"I agree with the Supreme Court. Following the Prop 8 vote, the violent homosexuals vandalized businesses and homes of Prop 8 supporters, and also harassed and assaulted them." Can you point me in the direction of the factual report to back up your claims?
"Additionally, no cameras cuts off the avenue of escape for the homosexuals who will argue for a mistrial on the grounds that the publicity affected the outcome, should Prop 8 be upheld." Where do you come up with this rhetoric? My guess is that you have no basis for your assertions. Violent homosexuals, OMG run for your life!

Posted by: douglb1 | January 14, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

TO: douglb1 who wrote:
@ lindalovejones
“…You don't have to litigate your rights because you already have them. Except you do flaunt it by the very fact that you campaign against same sex marriage because it isn't "natural" that heterosexual marriage is. Is this not being "overt" and "in your face?" If you didn't flaunt this heterosexual bias then we wouldn't have a need to have these hearings. Intolerant? Is that what you label people for fighting for their rights? BTW, on who's authority do base your comment "because homosexuality is NOT the norm in this country" on? And since you seem to be an expert, which I compare to the likes of Ahmadinejad, what countries is it the norm? And where did I suggest that you be silenced. I didn't say you couldn't voice your opinion but that doesn't mean that I can't denounce it.”
____

Geez Doug, don’t get your panties in a bunch. This is an opinion piece and I, like everyone else, just have my opinion.

You say I already have rights, sure I do – the same ones you have, only difference is, I not asking for anyone’s approval that I use my rights. I do what I do in the privacy of my own home. I don’t need anybody to take a vote on how I want to do it and I don’t ask if that’s ok with anybody.

You have the same rights, except you want to make it law that people have to accept your sexual preference. Why, do I ask you to make my sexual preference law? Of course not.

You’d be surprised how many people don’t object to whatever you do in the privacy of your own home, but in public they want respect.

Don’t call me Amadinnerjacket, that’s offensive. I’m just a plain old fashioned American.

Now maybe all this stuff you’re saying just makes more people offended because you want to change all Americans to suddenly believe certain things are okay, but for some people, they’re just not okay.

But that’s not to say you shouldn’t be happy, but again, if you ask people to vote on how you do things and you ask them to make those things law because you want re-affirmation, some people will just say no.

Posted by: lindalovejones | January 14, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

"You say I already have rights, sure I do – the same ones you have, only difference is, I not asking for anyone’s approval that I use my rights. I do what I do in the privacy of my own home. I don’t need anybody to take a vote on how I want to do it and I don’t ask if that’s ok with anybody." You are so off base. I do not have the same rights as you do and this has nothing to do with what goes on behind closed doors. This also has nothing to do with making a law to accept my sexual preference. My god, again where do you people come up with this stuff. I will compare you to whomever I feel like if I feel you hold the same views on homosexuality. But again this has nothing to do with being homosexual this has everything to do with having the right to same sex marriage. I do not have the same rights as you. Again your arguments are flawed. Do you think it isn't ok to have interracial marriage? Why did interracial couples have to throw it in the face of "Americans?" You are nothing but a rube!

Posted by: douglb1 | January 14, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

But that’s not to say you shouldn’t be happy, but again, if you ask people to vote on how you do things and you ask them to make those things law because you want re-affirmation, some people will just say no.
=================================

You should get your facts in order before writing such drivel. It was the right wingnuttia/supposed Christians and Mormons who ASKED people to vote on this issue, not lesbian and gays. And since you are so smug about the "rightness" and superiority of your marriage/relationships over mine, do you support legislation outlawing divorce? Maybe you should since heterosexuals have a whopping 50 percent success rate in their own marriages.

I'd just say that you need to get in your head that gays and lesbians aren't going away, ever, and perhaps you should focus your energy and bile on your own family, your own "church" and your own life and stop worrying about the details of our lives.

This is AMERICA, and everyone is supposed to be treated equally -- not based on what YOU and your religion believe, but based on the U.S. Constitution and the 14th Amendment.

Posted by: JDI01 | January 15, 2010 5:52 AM | Report abuse

The Republican majority's political decision to stop the cameras was simply a meritless pandering to the Christian Right.
The Republican majority's political decision to stop counting the Fla. vote was a meritless pandering for their their party.
The above editorial is equally meritless and political.

Posted by: jeesq | January 15, 2010 6:55 AM | Report abuse

I wished the trial was televised to exposes this minority culture of bigots who have now turned to terror, via intimidation of others who do not share their morals.

Posted by: conrad031 | January 15, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

JDl01 - Thank you very much. Better said than I.
conrad031 - Again I don't know where you all get your facts from. Can you point me in the direction of a factual report of the supposed persecution the pro prop 8 folks are facing. I still don't believe it for one second. I would love to have the trial televised because it would show that the pro prop 8 pundits have to use actual facts to back up the bogus claims they made during the campaign they launched. And as JDl101 pointed out "It was the right wingnuttia/supposed Christians and Mormons who ASKED people to vote on this issue, not lesbian and gays." Now who's persecuting whom?

Posted by: douglb1 | January 15, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

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