We reported today’s proposed YouTube broadcast of the Proposition 8-challenging gay marriage trial with enthusiasm: It was going to be groundbreaking and seemed an excellent idea. But the Supreme Court just shut it down.
The original approval, from the Californian judges in charge of the trial–starting today–was caveated, but still very positive. Though the public-viewable YouTube videos (taped and uploaded shortly after they happened) would effectively be a transmission of events inside the courtroom. The delay would allow the court to retain control over the feed. And with courtroom officials in charge of the cameras, the presiding judge could order the experiment terminated at any point if it became a distraction or possibly even dangerous.
But that wasn’t enough for some detractors who feared the presence of cameras, and, hence, a public eye on the proceedings, would allow for witness intimidation (although it’s not clear if this concerns witnesses who are pro or contra Proposition 8). They took the matter to the high court, which has now ruled against the idea–temporarily, though, as BreakingNews is just reporting that the ban applies only for three days while high court judges mull the matter.
Let’s hope they come out in support of the idea. This is an incredibly important legal matter, concerning the rights of millions of members of the public, and as such you could easily defend the idea that it should therefore be carried out in public. One question remains, though: Assuming the Supreme Court turns the YouTube feed back on, is America ready for a live view of the kind of heated arguments we’re going to see presented in court?