So much for what proponents of marriage equality thought would have been a good idea:
The Supreme Court has indefinitely blocked cameras from covering the high-profile federal court trial on the constitutionality of California’s ban on same-sex marriage.
The high court split 5-4 today, with the conservative justices in the majority.
Now in its third day, the trial in federal court in San Francisco is over the state’s voter-approved ban on gay marriage.
The presiding judge, Vaughn Walker, had proposed posting recordings of the trial on the court’s Web site after several hours of delay and allowing real-time streaming of the trial for viewing in other federal courthouses in California, New York, Oregon and Washington.
Gay rights advocates were calling Judge Walker’s earlier ruling a step towards openness and transparency. Proposition 8 supporters (who hope to uphold the voters’ ban on same-sex marriage in case you’ve been on another planet and missed the back story) were clearly — and probably rightly — afraid their supporters would fear being outed and skip testifying. A thoughtful person who lives in my house suggested it could be a bad precedent.
I personally was looking forward to looking in. But the Supreme Court didn’t consult with any of us. So now we’ll wait to see what they have to say when, as expected, this case gets to their chambers on appeal.
Supreme Court indefinitely blocks cameras from Prop. 8 trial – latimes.com.
It’s hard to mourn the passage of 2009. Jobless friends struggled to survive while our own family income took a dive. Gay friends watched meanness triumph over decency in equality battles. Friends of many stripes lamented choices made by the president we elected with unrealistically high hopes. And my hometown paper this morning lists, among the top stories of the year, teenage gang rape, government insolvency and a bunch of senseless killings.
Other front pages aren’t much different: my second-favorite city winds up the year in the red and worried about the shadow of 9/11 (New York Times.) Murder and assault — specifically assault compounded by injustice — are among today’s concerns in Chicago. And a couple of other former hometown papers lead off the year’s last day with stories of car crashes, shootouts (Atlanta Journal Constitution) and a tragic, child-abandoning, now dead, alcoholic mom (Richmond Times-Dispatch). Plus another doozy about four or five hundred dead animals found in one house — and that happened in Philadelphia.
Optimism, these days, is a full-time job.
But hey. We’re inching toward health reform. Umar’s bomb didn’t go off. Some of those bad guys (above) went to jail, and a few good guys who’d been jailed as bad guys for a very long time got out of jail thanks to the Innocence Project. And even if the best we can do for employment optimism is note that the rate of jobs lost is getting smaller — can the country’s jobless find hope in that? — the jobless recovery seems to be happening. Surely jobs will follow.
Plus: even if we don’t like all of his choices and decisions, we have an articulate president who comes across, still, as thoughtful and decent — and doesn’t make you cringe when you see him on TV. There’s hope.
And True/Slant, which you’d never heard of this time last year, is closing in on a million readers.
Happy New Year from the Boomers and Beyond page.