Thursday, January 14, 2010

UPDATE: Supreme Court Again Blocks Broadcasting of California Prop. 8 Trial

As I mentioned Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday issued a temporary stay to bar online broadcasting of the Proposition 8 trial in California. Although the stay was set to expire Wednesday, the Supreme Court issued another order (splitting 5-4) staying the district court's January 7, 2010 order to the extent it permitted live streaming of court proceedings. The High Court stayed the district court's order (that would have allowed the broadcasting) because it said the lower court likely violated federal law when it amended its local rules to allow a broadcast of the trial.  The Court said:
We resolve that question without expressing any view on whether such trials should be broadcast. We instead determine that the broadcast in this case should be stayed because it appears the courts below did not follow the appropriate procedures set forth in federal law before changing their rules to allow such broadcasting.
So, the Court didn't really discuss its thoughts on the more specific issue of online streaming. The Court invited the parties to seek a final order by filing a petition for a writ of certiorari or a writ of mandamus (hinting it would likely grant review of either such filing).

SCOTUSblog has a nice summary of the case here.

Hat tip to Tyler C. for giving me the heads-up on yesterday's order!

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