On Wednesday, a federal judge in California ruled that Proposition 8, an amendment to the state's Constitution that was passed by a slim majority of voters in 2008, was unconstitutional. Although this decision has rightly been a hot topic in the news, one amazing aspect of it has not been discussed: Due to the heightened interest in this case, the Northern District of California created a webpage specifically for information about the case! The URL for the website is https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/cand/09cv2292/index.html.
Through this website, any person can access the docket and filings for this case, as well as the decision itself, without needing a PACER login. In addition (and I think this is the really cool part), the court even created a special page (https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/cand/09cv2292/evidence/index.html) that contains links to all the evidentiary videos and documents mentioned in the opinion! So, if a person wanted to verify that the judge characterized a particular campaign ad or pamphlet correctly, they can access the evidence themselves and form their own opinion!
This is amazing, not just because of the sensational nature of the controversy at issue in the case, but because it allows average American citizens to catch a glimpse into the judicial process that they never get to see, a peek behind the curtain that usually is not fodder for legal television dramas or movies. I for one hope that many people take advantage of this opportunity to gain a better understanding and appreciation for the judicial process, regardless of their personal opinions of the correctness of the judge's decision.