January 14, 2010
By Eden James
Hey everyone — Eden James here, Managing Director of the Courage Campaign Institute. I’ve been mostly in the background here, helping Rick, Julia, Robert and Paul feed the monster that has become the Prop 8 Trial Tracker. I won’t be posting often, but do know that I’m around reading your comments and thinking about how we can make this site even more of a public service for our exponentially growing community of, er, Trial Trackers (nearly 2,000 comments posted here in 3 days!).
Our first 72 hours on the P8TT have been a rollercoaster. None more so than today when the U.S. Supreme Court continued its stay on broadcasting the trial, indefinitely banning cameras from the court room. The reaction was swift, in this community and across the ideological spectrum.
And now, with the ink barely dry on the SCOTUS ruling, the New York Times just posted an editorial that will be no doubt be fodder for discussion as we enter Day 4 of Prop 8 federal trial in San Francisco. So what did they say? Well, like us, the NYT isn’t very happy with the Supreme Court and its backwards-looking decision:
“The trial that started on Monday in San Francisco over the constitutionality of California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage could have been a moment for the entire nation to witness a calm, deliberative debate on a vitally important issue in the era of instant communications. Instead, the United States Supreme Court made it a sad example of the quashing of public discourse by blocking the televising of the nonjury trial.”
Sad, certainly. Perhaps tragic as well, given the hearts and minds that could have been challenged and changed by airing this trial for all Americans to watch. A teachable moment lost forever.
Well, I can’t say I’m surprised by the NYT’s editorial. I mean, who else besides the five justices holding on to their conservative majority for dear life would bar recordings of a trial that will shape this country for generations to come?
The NYT closes out its SCOTUS slam with the following:
“The courtroom battle now unfolding bears close watching, and the Supreme Court should not stand in the way of Americans viewing it and reaching educated judgments.”
What?!? Trust the American people to judge for themselves? NYT, you can’t be serious.
As other newspaper editorial boards chime in on this “sad example of the quashing of public discourse,” please let us know in the comments. If you see any editorials or op-eds, please post the links in this thread so that your fellow Trial Trackers can read ‘em as well.
OK, I’m going to fade back into the background now…