June 5, 2012

California's Proposition 8: Supreme Court Showdown Imminent


Bob Sodervick waves a rainbow flag outside the US Courthouse in San Francisco, Calif., Tuesday.

Ninth Circuit Won’t Rehear Prop. 8 Case

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting in San Francisco, announced that a full panel will not reconsider the findings of the trial court, or the 3 Judge panel, in the Proposition 8 case, and a show down in the Supreme Court looks imminent.

Two major appeals court cases dealing with same-sex marriage are poised for possible review at the nation’s highest court – perhaps with decisions as early as next year.

A federal appeals court in San Francisco announced on Tuesday that it would not examine a February decision striking down as unconstitutional California’s Proposition 8 ballot initiative, which effectively banned same-sex marriages in the state.

The action clears the way for lawyers to file an immediate appeal to the Supreme Court.

In addition, last week an appeals court in Boston struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, saying it violated the equal protection rights of same-sex married couples in Massachusetts.

The court found Proposition 8 to be discriminatory in California, and the First Circuit found the federal law DOMA to be discriminatory as well.

The Ninth Circuit panel said that “Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California and to officially reclassify their relationships as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.” The opinion said “the Constitution simply does not allow for” such laws.

"This order is a great step forward to the day when all Americans will be able to marry the person they love," said Plaintiffs' lead co-counsel David Boies. "Today's decision affirms what we have said from the beginning: marriage is a fundamental right and the unjustifiable denial of that right seriously harms gay and lesbian couples and their families. This is a great day for all Americans who care about equality."

"Today is a monumental day for the values that we all cherish as Americans: liberty, equality, dignity, and respect," said Plaintiffs' lead co-counsel Theodore B. Olson. "Our Constitution not only protects these principles, it is what our fellow citizens expect from their government. This is a complete victory toward eliminating this last vestige of state-sponsored discrimination and second-class citizenship."


VIA The Christian Science Monitor and The New York Times



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