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Thursday, December 09, 2010

Court allows broadcast in Calif. same-sex marriage appeal

from Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press:
The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco (9th Cir.) allowed the live broadcast Monday of more than two hours of oral arguments in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, a case challenging the constitutionality of California’s ban on same-sex marriages.

The hearing before the three-judge panel is the latest legal step in the case brought by two same-sex couples to challenge California’s Proposition 8, an amendment to the state constitution enacted by voters in 2008.

In August, a federal court in San Francisco ruled that Proposition 8 violated the federal constitution. That ruling, by Judge Vaughn Walker, came after a trial that, by order of the U.S. Supreme Court, could not be broadcast to the public.

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court rebuffed Walker’s plan to broadcast the trial, ruling that the broadcasting would conflict with court policy and procedural rules. The Supreme Court also noted the possible chilling effect on witnesses.

The Ninth Circuit’s decision to broadcast Monday's hearing did not raise the same issues.

Read the rest here.

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