WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court has pushed back by 10 days the date on which it will consider whether to review the issue of gay marriage in California, according to lawyers in the case.
The court had been set to discuss whether to grant review of Hollingsworth vs. Perry on Nov. 20, but now says it will consider it on Friday Nov. 30, according to lawyers who represent Kris Perry and three other plaintiffs seeking to marry their partners in California.
If the high court decides at that time not to grant review of the case, a federal appeals court decision striking down Proposition 8 will be made permanent, setting the stage for gay marriage to begin in California. Proposition 8 was a 2008 ballot measure that banned gay marriage.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled earlier this year that it was unconstitutional. If, on the other hand, the court decides to hear the case, the issue could be decided by next summer.
The court could also prolong the waiting, by deciding to hold the case. Voters in Maryland, Washington and Maine approved legalizing gay marriage in last week’s election.
In Minnesota, voters rejected a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Gay marriage is now legal in nine states and the District of Columbia.
Why didn't we put gay marriage on the ballot this year in California?
It would have won.
So, wonks-good? Bad?
Chief Justice John Roberts--the gay one--is checking with his boyfriend and needs more time picking a wedding date.
If the Supremes want to delay having to address the issue it would be more prudent not to grant review. It does not have to, as review is discretionary. If the ruling of the Ninth Circuit is left standing it will only affect California, where as review could have implications for the country as a whole.
So, for those DLers smarter than myself, what does this implicate, if anything? When The SC delays, does it tend to mean that they will review the case or not?
If the scotus declines review, wouldn't it apply to all of the ninth circuit states?
[quote] If the scotus declines review, wouldn't it apply to all of the ninth circuit states?
No because the question is limited in scope to California, as this specific ruling has to do with California taking away an already existing right.
The 9th Court's decision was narrowly defined. It only applies to states where gays had the right to marry and then had it taken away. IE, just CA.
My educated guesses:
1. Delaying the date to debate about review by 10 days means very little beyond a scheduling change.
2. If they decline to review Prop 8, marriages would resume in California, and any state in the 9th circuit in which gays and lesbians won the right to marry by court or legislature would then have that right protected from being stripped through the ballot. That is where the 9th circuit left it (not the broader Judge Walker decision which claimed a constitutional right to ssm).
3. It's anyone's guess what the court will do, but a likely scenario seems to be: Decline Prop 8 and let the decision stand for Cali. Review DOMA with likely overturning of Section 3. The result would be resumption of marriages in Cali and federal recognition of marriage in states currently with same-sex marriage rights.
This seems the most likely. However, with the direction of the country on this issue becoming more and more obvious, enough members of the court may begin to understand this as a "legacy" thing ie No one wants to be remembered for being on the wrong, timid side of Dred Scott or Brown v Board, so it's entirely possible that 5 justices would want to step in and create an important civil rights decision, though then again the court is freakishly conservative, so don't hold your breath there.
Extremely unlikely imho is a finding that Prop 8 is constitutional or a finding that DOMA is constitutional, but again: nothing is off the table.
Just my guesses.
The Ninth Circuit decided the case on fairly narrow grounds so that it only applies to CA--it found that Prop 8 stripped CA residents of a right that had been previously extended to us, the right to marry, and to do so was a constitutional violation. It did not find that the right to marry was a constitutional right under the US constitution. So, no it does not apply to all states in the Ninth Circuit. As for whether what the Supremes decision to delay means, some believe it reinforces their opinion that they will decline review, others do not.
Thanks R9. That at least helps clarifies potential outcomes.