[quote]KENNEDY, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which GINSBURG, BREYER, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., joined. ROBERTS, C. J., filed a dissenting opinion. SCALIA, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which THOMAS, J., joined, and in which ROBERTS, C. J., joined as to Part I. ALITO, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which THOMAS, J., joined as to
Parts II and III.
U.S. vs. Windsor (DOMA case)
Windsor - Majority: Kennedy, joined by Ginsberg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan. Dissent by Roberts, dissent by Scalia joined by Thomas and Roberts (in part), dissent by Alito joined by Thomas.
Perry - Majority: Roberts, joined by Scalia, Ginsberg, Breyer, and Kagan. Dissent by Kennedy, joined by Thomas, Sotomayor, and Alito.
The Voice of the Night
[quote]ROBERTS, C. J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which SCALIA, GINSBURG, BREYER, and KAGAN, JJ., joined. KENNEDY, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which THOMAS, ALITO, and SOTOMAYOR, JJ., joined.
Hollingsworth vs. Perry (Prop 8 case)
so why didn't Kennedy side with the majority in the Prop 8 case?
Okay, could someone now just state the 5 to 4 vote in each case. Just say who voted for what without all the "so and so" joined by "so and so."
The responses above are to a lot of blah, blah, blah.
r6, As you probably know, The Prop 8 case only got to the issue of standing (whether the defendants (their side) had the right to be in court), not the more substantive issues related to gay marriage.
It's hard to keep in mind since we often only hear about very political Supreme Court cases with ideological splits, but the justices actually have a range of takes on a number of legal, non-political issues like standing. These issues hardly seem important to us in any other context, but they're quite significant and they're informed by decades of jurisprudence, precedent, debate etc.
As to why they ruled the way they did: One could try to discern all sorts of unstated motives to their decision, but it's also possible that the various justices actually did have strong opinions about whether or not initiative proponents had the right to be in court--Kennedy seemed to think they did--that were entirely independent of their take on the merits of the case.
I'm sure people who know far more about this will chime in, and I'll be interested in hearing their thoughts, but in my estimation, standing is a difficult and thorny legal issues, and the justices may have had strong opinions on the issue of standing that had little to do with their desire or non-desire to rule on the merits or their individual takes on same sex marriage.
The prop 8 case was decided on the issue of standing, nothing to do with merits of the case.
Kennedy thought the proponents who took up the mantle of prop 8 after the state of California declined to do were allowed to do so the Court should have ruled, the majority including Roberts did not.
DOMA case - Kennedy, Ginsberg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan ruled to overturn DOMA Sec 3 as unconstitutional. Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Alito disagreed.
Prop 8 case - Roberts, Scalia, Ginsberg, Breyer, and Kagan ruled that proponents didn't have standing. Kennedy, Thomas, Sotomayor, and Alito disagreed.
And yes it wasn't strictly a liberal v conservative thing R6, as you see Sotomayer who is considered the most liberal current justice on the court sided with the minority in the Prop 8 decision that the proponents did have the standing to challenge the law.
Also really R7? You need help if R3 and R4 were too complicated for you to understand how people voted.
R10. Thank you.
So that big homo John Roberts believes DOMA is constitutional. Closeted asshole.
Sonia showed her true colors with the Prop 8 ruling. Just goes to show you can't trust any of them.
Sigh, R13, it was decided on standing, nothing to do with merits of the case. People are dumb.
Sotamayer thought the court should and could actually rule on the case. She would have been happy to strike it down. Not dismiss on a technicality.
R14 = Latino (you all ALWAYS defend each other no matter what)
I think the Prop 8 decision is fascinating. I agree with the dissent that the proponents of the initiative have standing. In this I defer to the decision of the California Supreme Court which pointed out that if the proponents of the initiative do not have standing there would be no way to challenge the state government's decision to ignore a public referendum.
By my analysis, the four dissenters voted correctly as a matter of law and we need go no further in explaining their votes. The question then becomes why did each of the 5 Justices who voted the other way decide to do so?
Here's a guess:
I suspect that Scalia voted no because he knew he would lose the argument on the merits and the decision would have reached beyond California or set a precedent he did not want. By punting the case he limited the effect of the ruling to California and avoided any national precedent on the merits. Since he is an intellectual whore, the validity of the decision was of no concern to him.
Roberts might have voted no in order to avoid a 5-4 decision finding a right to gay marriage which would have harmed the Court politically.
The liberals were perhaps unhappy with Kennedy's rationale on the merits which would be decisive. Perhaps they felt it was too narrow or would have somehow made a bad precedent so they went with the Chief. They might have reasoned that punting the case had the effect of striking down Prop 8 today without whatever limitation Kennedy might have required. Only three of them were needed, so one (as it happens, Sotomayor ) was free to vote as she saw the law.
Wow, how pathetic r15, we try to explain what ruling on standing means and you jump to juvenile racism rather than trying to understand. Hate to disappoint you but I am not Latino.
R16, this is simple: the federal courts don't give a flying fuck about the rights of referenda supporters. Why should they? Their is no federal constitutional right to put an initiative on a ballot. It's a state issue. And the State of California hasn't been ignoring Prop 8--there hasn't been a same sex marriage in the state since. They chose not to waste taxpayer money defending something grossly unconstitutional (unlike John Boehnerwho spent $3M of our money to lose Windsor).
If you study the Court, this result was wholly unsurprising. All 3 justices who went to Yale Law School dissented, and the majority all went to Harvard. This reflects nicely the difference in the way civil procedure is taught at those schools.
Further, in the Arizona case, Ginsburg wrote that she had grave doubts that the sponsor of a referendum had appellate standing and Scalia, Kennedy & Thomas all signed onto that opinion. That that fool Thomas changed his mind when he had a chance to go after the gays is not surprising; Kennedy is all over the map, generally, so one can rarely guess what he's going to do (except support the gays.)
R16 - I'm not sure it is so easy to conclude the dissenting opinion on the Prop 8 case were right as a matter of law.
what is the potential harm or possible adverse reactions that creates grounds for standing?
Really: on the issue of standing, there are sensible legal arguments to be made both ways that have NOTHING to do with same sex marriage. This idea that there was one clear "correct" answer, and the justices ruled the way they did because they had some ulterior motive is a little silly.
On the issue of ssm there is only one just answer. On the issue of standing, not so much, which is why you got the complicated split you did.
There are very serious rules about who has the right to appeal a case, about what the Supreme Court actually can rule on, about who the correct parties are that must be before the court, etc.
I actually thought several years ago that Judge Walker was quite correct when he said at the district level that the proponents didn't have standing to appeal. If you looked at the definition of standing, it was obvious that they didn't have an injury and weren't the proper parties to be in court: the courts would have to make a pretty unusual exception for the case to continue, which they did.
[quote][R16], this is simple: the federal courts don't give a flying fuck about the rights of referenda supporters. Why should they? Their is no federal constitutional right to put an initiative on a ballot. It's a state issue.
They should care because it is relevant under their precedents. The precedents have granted standing to state officials to argue for statutes the state's attorney general did not defend. The highest legal authority in California says the proponents have official status for the purpose of defending their initiative. The federal courts have the power to ignore the California Supreme Court, but absent the intense controversy of this case, I doubt they would.
Yes, there are arguments on both sides, but I think a result that no one can defend a voter initiative if the elected officials don't defend it is illogical. This anomaly should be a sufficient basis to find that the citizens who spent millions of dollars and countless hours to get the referendum passed have standing to defend it against a lower court decision vacating it.
[quote]And the State of California hasn't been ignoring Prop 8--there hasn't been a same sex marriage in the state since. They chose not to waste taxpayer money defending something grossly unconstitutional (unlike John Boehnerwho spent $3M of our money to lose Windsor).
The state would not be following Prop 8 had there been no appeal of the district court's opinion. Under the SCOTUS ruling, the appeal should not have been made.
[quote]This idea that there was one clear "correct" answer, and the justices ruled the way they did because they had some ulterior motive is a little silly.
Unfortunately it is not at all silly. The Justices invariably find that the law dictates the decision that is consistent with their political convictions. I may have overstated the argument that one side is clearly correct, but that is not essential to my main point. Here the Justices had the discretion to rule either way, and I am confident that the strategic consequences of their decisions were determinative.
[quote]If you study the Court, this result was wholly unsurprising. All 3 justices who went to Yale Law School dissented, and the majority all went to Harvard. This reflects nicely the difference in the way civil procedure is taught at those schools.
The Justices have come a long way since their first year Civil Procedure classes and unlike the students or the professors are now in a position to make the law.
OP, you truly couldn't find that info ANYWHERE online?
I split Anita Hill while she be grabbing hold of the radiator, dawg.
[quote] I am confident that the strategic consequences of their decisions were determinative.
I'm not convinced. To me, the decision makes sense, even if I'm not in total agreement with the action. Such parties have never been before the Supreme Court before. There were doubts from the very first ruling in district court that the proponents had standing to appeal, so this was not something just invented at the last minute. (IMHO the only reason they were allowed to appeal at all was because this is the gays, and there would have been pandemonium if they'd been told at the start they couldn't appeal: any other case that would have been the end of it).
[quote]that no one can defend a voter initiative if the elected officials don't defend it is illogical
This was not the decision btw. The decision is not that NO ballot initiative proponents can ever appeal in federal court if officials do not: It's just that ballot initiative proponents must, like everyone else, show an injury to be in federal court. Litigants must have some sort of involvement in the legal issue other than "we disagree." They must be able to demonstrate that the outcome of the case affects them in some direct, concrete, not abstract, way. This, Prop 8 proponents could not do.
Similar cases have come along before (Ariznonans for English and Diamond c Charles) and grave doubts were expressed along these same lines about the proponents' standing, so this was not something just suddenly invented.
When Walker told the circuit court that the proponents didn't have standing to appeal way back, I remember thinking he was right, and our side, Olson and Boies, agreed if I remember correctly. Rules about who can be in federal court have always been quite strict btw.
The SCOTUS would have had to carve out an exception, just like the 9th circuit did, to let the proponents into court.
And even if things are as you describe and justices were guided by some hidden nefarious agenda, who cares at this point? It is the guiding precedent now. Carping about it is meaningless. This is now the law:
Ballot initiative proponents cannot be in federal court when officials will not defend it AND when proponents are incapable of showing how they'll be affected by the outcome. Meh, there are arguments to be made both ways, but somehow, I think American democracy will survive. Pick up the pieces and move on.
I've lived in Calif most of my life & I hate the initiative process. I know there seemed to be good reasons for it when it was introduced in the early 1900s, but it has not served the state well.
Any idiot can stand in front of supermarkets & gather signatures to put any foolishness on the ballot. Prop 8 is a perfect example of bigotry plus big bucks (from the Mormon church, not local residents) riding roughshod over justice for the people who live here.
If our legislators can't/won't do their job to introduce & support legislation that's desired by their constituencies, we should elect new ones who will properly represent their districts. The answer is not to let special interests & the lunatic fringe bypass the legislative process & offer their many & various whims up for public vote -- with all of the farflung consequences that may follow!