Prop. 8 Trial TV Blocked

Splitting 5-4, the Supreme Court on Wednesday blocked any television broadcast to the general public of the San Francisco federal court challenge to California's ban on same-sex marriage.  The stay will remain in effect until the Court rules on a coming appeal challenging the TV order.  The Court, chastizing the trial court for attempting "to change its rules at the eleventh hour," issued an unsigned 17-page opinion.  The ruling came out nearly 40 minutes after an earlier temporary order blocking TV had technically expired.

As a practical matter, the ruling almost certainly dooms any broadcast coverage of the trial as it goes on.  The trial's length has been estimated variously at two weeks to several weeks.  There is no indication that final Supreme Court action on the dispute would be speeded up to the point that the question could be resolved during that brief span of time...