Sunday, 5 December 2010

Eyes on San Francisco as Prop 8 Goes to Appeal

Legal eyes will once again turn their attention to San Francisco tomorrow. At 10am local time (6pm British time). The US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit will consider Proposition 8 (the California ban on gay marriage) via the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case. Unlike Perry, it will be televised which is a major step forward. As the Advocate explains, a three-judge panel will consider two main questions before the court: whether a federal judge erred in ruling the anti-gay marriage initiative unconstitutional, and whether a coalition of Prop. 8 supporters who defended the ballot measure at trial have standing to appeal the case.

The Advocate site will stream the trial but the official channel is the US network C-SPAN (sort of like the BBC Parliament Channel). You can check out their live channel page here.

The trial is also being viewed as an important learning experience for law students. In a Press Release, the Court quotes Joan Hollinger, a faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law as saying: "The Ninth Circuit is providing a wonderful opportunity for law students to observe appellate arguments on both sides of this controversial issue".

"It's an invaluable learning experience," said Hollinger, who is mentoring students who are studying and blogging about the Prop. 8 case. The blog, called "Prop 8 on Trial," is available here:

Other law schools planning to show the proceeding on campus include New York University School of Law; Yale Law School; Harvard Law School; the University of Chicago Law School; the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona; Stanford Law School; the University of California Hastings College of the Law; and the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law.

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