Because when you want to argue against average Americans having access to a basic civil right, you want to make sure nobody sees you doing it. From the Associated Press:
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 YouTube.com, 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. Opponents of the broadcast say they fear witness testimony might be affected if cameras are present. Justice Stephen Breyer said he would have allowed cameras while the court considers the matter.
Whatever. I’d be more worked up about this, but I’m still waiting for FIFA to realize that there is a thing called instant replay. Old people, organizations, and institutions tend to react really slowly to obvious technological changes.
UPDATE: After the jump, SCOTUSblog opines on why the Court mandated the delay.
Lyle Denniston of SCOTUSblog points out that the Court’s ruling means that we’ll be reading about the Prop 8 trial, instead of watching it for ourselves, for at least a little while:
The order not only blocks the trial judge’s original order permitting delayed broadcast of the trial proceedings, but also “any additional order permitting broadcast of the proceedings,” pending further action by the Justices. In his brief dissent, Justice Breyer said he was not persuaded that the supporters of Prop. 8, who sought to block any televising of the trial, would suffer harm from such broacasts.
The fact that the Court will take more time to consider the issue is an indication that the broadcasting may yet be allowed. But the mere fact that it has imposed even a temporary delay would not appear to be an encouraging sign for the prospect that the video will be seen outside the courthouse.
In fairness, there are all kinds of technical hurdles that need to be worked out before video can be made available on YouTube. Perhaps SCOTUS is just giving the techies more time to work through their issues?
We’ll see on Wednesday. In the meantime, you’ll have to go all the way to California if you want to see the circus.
Supreme Court Blocks Access To Prop 8 Trial [Air America]
Delay in broadcast of Prop. 8 trial [SCOTUSBlog]