SCOTUS Bans Video in California Gay-Marriage Trial

By a 5–4 vote the U.S. Supreme Court has halted plans to transmit video from the Perry v. Schwarzenegger gay-marriage trial, a crushing blow for the plaintiffs. “Given the powerful evidence against Prop 8 presented in court today, we are not surprised the initiative’s defenders sought to keep this trial as private as possible,” wrote Chad Griffin, a representative for the American Foundation for Equal Rights working with the plaintiffs, in an immediate statement during court proceedings. Outside, in the hallway, defense lawyer Andy Pugno couldn’t have been more pleased as he quickly fired off some e-mails on his BlackBerry. “It appears the Supreme Court realized that the Ninth Circuit Court had violated federal law and did so purposefully to broadcast this trial in particular,” Pugno told NEWSWEEK. “This vindicates our feelings all along that our defense of Prop 8 is up against a stacked deck in many respects.”

Justice Stephen Breyer dissented, along with Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sonia Sotomayor.