Supreme Court Blocks TV Coverage of Prop 8 Trial

The Supreme Court issued an order this morning that will at least temporarily prohibit TV coverage of the Prop 8 trial beyond the proceedings San Francisco venue.

The court said the stay will be in effect until Wednesday, pending further consideration of Judge Vaughn Walker’s plan to show the trial online on YouTube and live via closed circuit to other courthouses across the country. The matter was referred to the court by Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Justice Stephen Breyer dissented, saying that Prop 8 proponents had failed to prove that a stay was necessary as the issue was considered.

The ruling means that, at least temporarily until Wednesday, access to the proceedings will be limited to Walker’s courtroom and an overflow within the building.

This morning, spectators lined up early to fill available slots, packing the hallway outside of courtroom six on the 17th floor.

Among those attending the opening day of the trial are Hollywood activists involved in the suit against Prop 8, including Chad Griffin, board president of the American Foundation for Equal Rights; producer Bruce Cohen; screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and Rob Reiner. Also present was prominent gay activist Cleve Jones.

Asked about the Supreme Court’s decision and whether his foundation would take other steps to disseminate information about the trial, like the posting of transcripts, Griffin told a reporter outside the courtroom, “Anything we are allowed to do we will do.”

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