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Prop 8 Tracker: SCOTUS IS listening, SPEAK OUT! (ontd: ORLY?)



Supreme Court dissent says that this is YOUR trial

January 13, 2010

By Rick Jacobs
For anyone who thinks that online action does not matter, please read this excerpt below from Mr. Justice Breyer’s dissent (.pdf) in today’s 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court of the United States not to allow the public to see the Prop. 8 trial ongoing now in federal court in San Francisco.
Then, on December 31, the Court revised its public notice to ask for comments directly. By January 8, 2010, the Court had received 138,574 comments, all but 32 of which favored transmitting the proceedings.
There was also sufficient “opportunity for comment.” The parties, the intervenors, other judges, the public—all had an opportunity to comment. The parties were specifically invited by Chief Judge Walker to comment on the possibility of broadcast as early as September. And the entire public was invited by the District Court to submit comments after the rule change was announced, right up to the eve of trial. As I said, the court received 138,574 comments during that time. How much more “opportunity for comment” does the Court believe necessary, particularly when the statutes themselves authorize the local court to put a new rule into effect “without” receiving any “comments” before doing so when that local “court determines that there is an immediate need” to do so (and to receive comments later)? And more importantly, what is the legal source of the Court’s demand for additional comment time in respect to a rule change to conform to Judicial Council policy?
The proponents of Prop. 8 seek to hide and obfuscate. They did not want their own ad played in court. They did not want documents from their own strategists to become public because the documents show clearly that their entire campaign was built on the decades of prejudice and fear that we heard about in detail yesterday from Prof. Chauncey. As Ted Olson keeps saying, their arguments do not hold up in public or in court. They only win when they can manipulate the media and the public, using scare tactics.
Please keep reading this blog and keep telling your stories. Keep sharing the story of this trial of LGBT rights in America and of America itself. The world hears you and more importantly, your neighbors and your friends hear you.
[UPDATE] For background on the signature delivery, Julia Rosen blogged here yesterday about the Courage Campaign Institute and CREDO Action’s delivery of these signatures last Friday:
On Friday the Courage Campaign Institute delivered 140,671 signatures on a letter to Judge Walker, per his request for public comments on airing the trial. 138,248 were on paper, the rest of the letters urging him to televise the trial were delivered electronically.
It turns out that (Courage and CREDO) accounted for nearly every single comment Judge Walker received.
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