Supremes Block TV Coverage of Prop 8


Marriage Watch / Maggie Gallagher

The Supreme Court just issued an emergency order blocking Judge Walker's outrageous ruling that the Prop 8 trial be televised. For the second time, as the Chicago Tribune points out, the Supreme Court has been willing to step in on an emergency basis to protect marriage supporters from outrageous court rulings.

"In October, the justices blocked officials in Washington state from releasing the names of 138,000 persons who signed ballot petitions seeking to overturn a state law giving equal benefits to gay and lesbian couples. Under Washington law, the names were considered public records.

But attorney James Bopp told the high court that the signers of these petitions could be subjected to harassment if their names were revealed. And the court granted an order blocking the release."

Only one Supreme Court justice (Steven Breyer) dissented. Television coverage is blocked at least until Wednesday, when the Court considers the matter more fully. But a Supreme Court that was willing to keep petition signers names private on First Amendment grounds, even though the law requires them to be revealed, seems to me unlikely to agree to let a judge unilaterally life a federal rule banning televised proceedings under these circumstances.

I might add: This is two strikes against Justice Walker, for even the 9th Circuit could not swallow his previous ruling that all the private communications of Protect Marriage campaign team should become part of this trial, and overruled him.