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Proposition 8 friends, foes await Supreme Court decision

More than two years after a federal judge in San Francisco ruled California's Proposition 8 unconstitutional, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide today whether it will take up the landmark gay marriage case.

by Anonymousreply 8212/09/2012

More than two years after a federal judge in San Francisco ruled California's Proposition 8 unconstitutional, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide today whether it will take up the landmark gay marriage case.

If it elects not to grant review, gay and lesbian Californians who have waited for years to wed are preparing to do so as early as next week. The court is expected to announce its decision Monday, though it could come as early as today.

"We have our rings and clothing and all of that," said Diana Luiz of Sacramento. "We just want them to say it's legal." Luiz, 52, and her partner, Nicola Simmersbach, 50, hoped to wed two years ago, after U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker's historic ruling overturning Prop. 8.

But gay marriages were put on hold while the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals considered the case, and then as proponents of Prop. 8 appealed to the Supreme Court.

For years the case was expected to be decided there -- and it may still be.

The prospect of a Supreme Court review was dimmed, however, by the narrow legal ground on which the appeals court upheld Walker's ruling. In its decision in February, the appeals court ruled California wrongly stripped gay and lesbian people of a right they previously enjoyed, as gay marriages were allowed for several months after the California Supreme Court issued a ruling legalizing gay marriage but before the passage of Prop. 8 in 2008. The appeals court did not consider the broader question of whether gay and lesbian people may ever be denied such a right, likely lessening the interest of the nation's highest court, said Courtney Joslin, a law professor at University of California, Davis.

The Supreme Court is far more likely, Joslin and other scholars said, to consider one of several other gay marriage cases. Those cases involve the federal Defense of Marriage Act. In the Prop. 8 case, California's stay on gay marriages could be lifted within hours -- but more likely within days -- if the court declines to hear the matter.

Plenty of preparations are under way for that option.

In Sacramento, gay rights activists are recruiting volunteers to officiate weddings at the state Capitol on Tuesday, while Los Angeles and San Francisco officials asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this week to provide 24 hours notice before allowing gay marriages to proceed.

Gay rights activists are divided about their hopes for Supreme Court action, knowing that if the court declines to hear the case it will not set precedent nationwide.

"I'm torn," said Shara Murphy, executive director of the Sacramento Gay & Lesbian Center. "It's tough to see couples here in Sacramento who are friends, who if they just deny hearing would be able to marry this year. ... But as far as a civil rights struggle, of course, it would be great to have it heard."

If the Supreme Court does take the case, its decision is expected to be divided, and it is possible Prop. 8 will prevail.

For advocates of same-sex marriage, said Scott Cummings, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, "this all comes down to a set of unknowns ... and given that, it seems probably not the worst outcome for the court to say 'Look, the time's not right yet.' "

Cummings said the court will "probably defer on the Prop. 8 case." For proponents of Prop. 8, allowing the lower court's ruling to stand would be disastrous.

"It would essentially create a constitutional right in the biggest state in the country," said Folsom lawyer Andy Pugno, the proposition's author. "It has such an enormous impact that it's not something the court can look the other way on."

If the Supreme Court declines to hear the case, Pugno predicted it would take only "a matter of weeks" before judges in other jurisdictions followed the lead of Walker and the appeals court.

"Allowing the 9th Circuit's decision to stand would probably be fatal to the ultimate goal of allowing states to decide for themselves," he said, "because the decision creates a precedent that essentially says there's n

by Anonymousreply 111/30/2012

wonder what will happen

by Anonymousreply 211/30/2012

Con't.

"Allowing the 9th Circuit's decision to stand would probably be fatal to the ultimate goal of allowing states to decide for themselves," he said, "because the decision creates a precedent that essentially says there's no rational reason for limiting marriage to a traditional definition."

If the Supreme Court does take the Prop. 8 case, it is expected to decide the matter by June.

Randy Thomasson, president of the conservative SaveCalifornia.com, said he would be "surprised and shocked if you couldn't find four votes on the high court to take this case."

For the court to deny review, he said, "is basically unleashing the wolves against marriage and the vote of the people." Craig Kramer, Sacramento County's clerk-recorder, said this week his office is prepared, depending on the court's action, to start issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples immediately.

"We're totally set up," he said. "It would take us about two seconds to start issuing them."

by Anonymousreply 311/30/2012

Well, we know what Dr OZ is hoping for now.

by Anonymousreply 411/30/2012

bump for another scary day

by Anonymousreply 511/30/2012

When did this go to the US Supreme Court? I hadn't heard that. I thought it was expected to eventually happen.

So, is this the big one? Is this going to decide gay marriage once and for all?

by Anonymousreply 611/30/2012

Oh, I'm sorry, they're deciding whether they'll hear the case or not. Oops. My other question still stands though, if they do take up this case. This will decide gay marriage for all of America?

by Anonymousreply 711/30/2012

[quote] if they do take up this case. This will decide gay marriage for all of America?

Not this case. It's limited in scope and not using a 14th amendment argument. The Prop 8 case deals specifically with taking away an already existing right.

by Anonymousreply 811/30/2012

actually, the Supreme Court is not limited to the 9th Circuit's analysis, and can decide the case on 14th Amendment Equal Protection grounds. The Supreme Court may not only reject the outcome of the 9th Circuit decision, but its analysis and reasoning.

by Anonymousreply 911/30/2012

If they decide not to hear the Prop 8 case the lower county's ruling stands and Prop 8 is overturned. There will be no opinion issued.

This would not decide the issue of same-sex marriage for the rest of the country. The decision would have relevance to California alone.

by Anonymousreply 1011/30/2012

I believe R10's explanation is where this is headed. Gay marriage would resume in California only with no impact on the rest of the States. It will ultimately be a Blue state/Red state line.

by Anonymousreply 1111/30/2012

DOMA is actually the bigger issue that the Supreme Court will have to take up with broader impact.

by Anonymousreply 1211/30/2012

Our biggest hope today should be that the SC declines to review the 9th Circuit Prop 8 decision. Almost anytime the Supreme Court grants review of a 9th Circuit decision, they want to overturn it.

by Anonymousreply 1311/30/2012

Sick of waiting!!

Are they purposely waiting till the eob on a Friday to "dump" the news?

by Anonymousreply 1411/30/2012

No. This cert. conference has been scheduled for a long while.

by Anonymousreply 1511/30/2012

Per the linked article:

[quote] The justices are expected to announce their decisions on Monday, but the word could come as early as Friday afternoon.

by Anonymousreply 1611/30/2012

oi

by Anonymousreply 1711/30/2012

TV is reporting it will not happen today, but may be announced/decided Monday (December 3).

by Anonymousreply 1811/30/2012

BREAKING: @SCOTUSblog reports #SCOTUS took no action on #DOMA, #Prop8. Order list expected Monday, but Dec. 7 may be more likely

by Anonymousreply 1911/30/2012

Any more updates???

by Anonymousreply 2011/30/2012

[bold] No gay marriage decision from SCOTUS Friday [UPDATE] [/bold]

by Anonymousreply 2111/30/2012

What on earth could they be pondering/debating?

As if they're unfamiliar with the case... "Same-sex marriage in California?! What's this?"

It seems as though they'd be quite familiar with the case and have a good sense of whether they'll take it, such that debate would not take longer than a day.

by Anonymousreply 2211/30/2012

Good article on what will probably happen and why:

by Anonymousreply 2311/30/2012

[quote]What on earth could they be pondering/debating?

You say that like the full court is a rational body. You're not taking into account the likes of Scalia, Thomas, and Alito.

On the other hand, I wonder if the delay could be because they're planning to bundle all of the marriage equality cases? That seems like the tougher route for the Court.

by Anonymousreply 2411/30/2012

thank you for posting that r23!

by Anonymousreply 2511/30/2012

You're welcome, R25.

by Anonymousreply 2612/01/2012

Remember that Justice Scalia has a completely false and fantasist view of history and the Founders' intentions. My concern is that I think Roberts shares that same corrupt intellectual background. Hopefully he will see his way out of it, but to call one of the founders of the Federalist society a "moderate" seems optimistic.

by Anonymousreply 2712/01/2012

I've said it before--the shitty Justices are WAY scared of Kennedy. His sole claim to eternal fame is to be Lincoln to the gays, and he's written the opinion on the important gay rights cases (Romer & Lawrence).

You need 4 votes to hear a case. The Repukes are not going to vote for the Prop 8 case because the only reason to hear it is to go after the 14th Amendment argument and they don't want gays to have strict scrutiny status. I don't think the lefties will vote to hear it because, if it stands, CA gets gay marriage (38 million people). Kennedy might see this as an opportunity, but he can wait.

There will be 4 votes, though, for the DOMA cases, and at least half of that shitty law will be overturned. It may be 5-4 or even 6-3, but I promise you Kennedy will write the majority opinion. It will set up the eventual full recognition of same sex marriage.

by Anonymousreply 2812/01/2012

good.

by Anonymousreply 2912/01/2012

Great article, R23. Thanks for the link.

by Anonymousreply 3012/01/2012

r28, I don't understand your reasoning on 14th Amendment grounds. If the four certainly conservative justices think they can uphold Prop 8 on 14th Amendment grounds by saying there is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage, why wouldn't they seize the moment to say so and make it national, binding precedent? THey might fear that now is the best and last time to do it because one of the four might now be sitting on the bench the next time such a case is appealed to them. They may want to establish an anti-gay precedent now, while they can. I have no idea how Kennedy feels about it. His views in Romer and Lawrence were on entirely different constitutional questions.

by Anonymousreply 3112/01/2012

[quote] You're not taking into account the likes of Scalia, Thomas, and Alito.

Actually, I am. That's what I'm saying. With that court, with the widespread familiarity of the case and the knowledge for YEARS that it was headed their way, where is the uncertainty that would take longer than a day to resolve in considering whether to take it? It seems like a quick discussion and a show of hands would resolve it in a matter of minutes. What is there to debate among them exactly? Take Prop 8 or don't... How could the discussion take longer than a day?

by Anonymousreply 3212/01/2012

[quote]If the four certainly conservative justices think they can uphold Prop 8 on 14th Amendment grounds by saying there is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage, why wouldn't they seize the moment to say so and make it national, binding precedent

It only takes four votes to hear it, but it takes five to decide a case. As you point out, Kennedy can't be counted on to side with the conservatives so the conservatives may opt for passing, realizing they risk nationalizing same sex marriage by taking it.

Plus, believe it or not, there are some who argue that Roberts or even (gasp) Scalia (read his miffy dissent in Lawrence where he acknowledges that depriving gays of the right to marry is now on constitutionally shaky ground) could conceivably end up siding against Prop 8, that Olson could provide the argument that's attractive or irresistible (embarrassingly so, as Olson could show that upholding prop 8 would go against their own precedents and arguments) to them. That's a bit of a wild card obviously, but we're all just guessing at this point and nothing is off the table in terms of speculating what's going on behind closed doors.

by Anonymousreply 3312/01/2012

Actually, the article at r23 has a bunch of important stuff wrong. A commenter correctly points out a couple of the author's significant errors, though there are more.

The Wa Post does a better job of explaining the possibilities:

by Anonymousreply 3412/01/2012

[quote]Prop 8 not only is specific to California, but it is also not about marriage rights. The standing decision is whether an existing right can be taken away without legitimate reason. While SCOTUS may choose to expand the decision, they may also keep it narrow…making it almost useless.

Could someone please explain what this comment on the linked article means?

Does it mean that only married CA gay couples get to retain their status?

by Anonymousreply 3512/01/2012

Prop 8 is about constitutional marriage rights if the Supreme Court says it is about marriage rights. If they take the appeal, I think the US Supreme Court will jettison the 9th Circuit's "cutesy" analysis that avoided the expected issue of whether same-sex marriage is a federal constitutional right. The US Supreme Court might not take kindly to the 9th Circuit's failure to address that basic issue and ignore its nuanced decision based on whether California can give gays the right and then have the people veto that right.

by Anonymousreply 3612/01/2012

No, R35. Gay couples who were married in California prior to the passage of Prop 8 are still legally recognized as married.

What it means is that the argument against Prop 8 from the beginning of this case wasn't about the 14th amendment, rather that voters should not be able to take away a right deemed to constitutionally exist by the State Supreme Court.

by Anonymousreply 3712/01/2012

Thanks, r37.

by Anonymousreply 3812/01/2012

Okay, R34. On Prop 8 I think I understand based on the article what happens if the Supremes do nothing. Prop 8 is history and marriage equality returns to California only. However, if they let the DOMA rulings stand what does that mean then? Those in New York and Massachusetts are married federally but those of us in states like California are not?

by Anonymousreply 3912/01/2012

[quote] However, if they let the DOMA rulings stand what does that mean then? Those in New York and Massachusetts are married federally but those of us in states like California are not?

Nope. Federal government doesn't recognize same-sex couples as married ANYWHERE, so nothing would change in that regard.

by Anonymousreply 4012/01/2012

Okay. I'm confused. I thought that if the Supreme Court didn't hear a previous ruling that ruling would stand. Is that incorrect? Because wouldn't that mean that if federal appeals courts had struck down DOMA in Massachusetts and New York those rulings would then stand?

by Anonymousreply 4112/01/2012

Which is why they won't simply refuse to rule and let them stand, R41.

They will make their own ruling, either siding with the lower court rulings or overturning the lower court rulings and upholding DOMA.

by Anonymousreply 4212/01/2012

If marriage is something that is determined by state laws and states are required to recognize each other's marriages, isn't the federal government also required to recognize the marriages of each individual state?

by Anonymousreply 4312/01/2012

That's precisely why DOMA is unconstitutional.

by Anonymousreply 4412/01/2012

R44, which is why overturning DOMA will have a huge financial implication for same sex couples married in states where it is legal.

by Anonymousreply 4512/01/2012

[quote]The US Supreme Court might not take kindly to the 9th Circuit's failure to address that basic issue and ignore its nuanced decision based on whether California can give gays the right and then have the people veto that right.

I disagree with this characterization. The current court is actually pretty cautious when it comes to civil rights, and they're unlikely to resent a narrow decision by a lower court. The justices--both liberal and conservative--ostensibly favor narrow decisions. This isn't predictive of what they'll do or how they'll react, but characterizing them as likely to resent a lower court for not examining a broad constitutional right to ssm seems off base to me.

Everyone knows this case was headed for the supreme court and basically everyone was just kicking the ball down the line up to this point. The 9th gave the supremes a nice escape hatch in case they don't feel the issue is ready for judicial intervention at the national level. If they want to pick it up, they're still free to do so.

by Anonymousreply 4612/01/2012

[quote]What it means is that the argument against Prop 8 from the beginning of this case wasn't about the 14th amendment

Not strictly true. From the beginning, the lawyers against Prop 8 (our side) argued that the equal protection clause of the constitution protects the right to choose a spouse of the same sex. Very much based on the 14th amendment. The 9th circuit came up with the argument about not taking away an already granted right.

by Anonymousreply 4712/01/2012

What's the latest? I've heard no announcement.

Chewing the last of my fingernails as we speak

by Anonymousreply 4812/03/2012

Bumping for a hopeful update.

by Anonymousreply 4912/03/2012

Nothing today. Per this article next day they may have an announcement about Prop 8 and other Gay marriage cases would be this Friday.

by Anonymousreply 5012/03/2012

Why the delay? Is this a bad sign?

by Anonymousreply 5112/03/2012

OK, tomorrow is Friday morning. Should I hold my breath for the SCOTUS response?

by Anonymousreply 5212/07/2012

Why is the Supreme Court always so dramatic? It makes me want to set myself on fire!

by Anonymousreply 5312/07/2012

R43, no.

That's like saying that the Feds shouldn't shut down the medical marijuana clubs in operation. They have every right to shut them down, and they do, even though individual states have created laws allowing them.

by Anonymousreply 5412/07/2012

The article in R23 still applies I think.

by Anonymousreply 5512/07/2012

[quote]If marriage is something that is determined by state laws and states are required to recognize each other's marriages, isn't the federal government also required to recognize the marriages of each individual state?

Totally wrong. Marriage is a license not a right. Because of this, states may have differing regulations. This caused quite a few problems in the old days. Divorce was another example.

For instance when Dickie Haymes divorced his wife in Nevada to marry Rita Hayworth, Nevada recognized both the divorce and the marriage. California did not.

Thus Hayworth wouldn't return to Hollywood to film because Haymes wife went after Hayworth for back support owed by Haymes.

This is why a state doesn't have to recognize a driver's license from another state (other than a pass through) nor does it have to recognize a professional license such as a physician or doctor.

Even when the Supreme Court ruled mixed marriages legal, they recognized the rights of states to set their own marriage and not have to recognize other state's marriages.

by Anonymousreply 5612/07/2012

Except for that crazy l'il thing called equal protection!

by Anonymousreply 5712/07/2012

What are these people getting paid for?

by Anonymousreply 5812/07/2012

nothing

by Anonymousreply 5912/07/2012

Will there be news today? It's already 2pm EST.

by Anonymousreply 6012/07/2012

The situation right now: it remains pending, has not been granted, has not been denied, may not appear at all on any orders list today or Monday. If there is nothing by Monday, the 9th Circuit's stay of is decision remains in place, and no marriage licenses can be issued in CA to same-sex couples.

After Monday the court isn't back in session until January 4th.

by Anonymousreply 6112/07/2012

So there is no deadline for when the Court has to decide whether to hear the case?

by Anonymousreply 6212/07/2012

What a bunch of lazy cunts.

by Anonymousreply 6312/07/2012

They're going to hear it.

by Anonymousreply 6412/07/2012

Sorry - forgot the link.

by Anonymousreply 6512/07/2012

BREAKING SUPREME COURT TO REVIEW PROP 8

Seen on AFER's (lawyers for plaintiff) Facebook page.

by Anonymousreply 6612/07/2012

BREAKING: SCOTUS will hear arguments on PROP 8

Prop. 8 is granted on the petition question -- whether 14th Am. bars Calif. from defining marriage in traditional way. Plus an added question: Whether the backers of Prop.. 8 have standing in the case under Art. III.

by Anonymousreply 6712/07/2012

I was hoping they'd pass on Prop 8. Ugh.

by Anonymousreply 6812/07/2012

Hopeful, but worrisome. This reactionary court could easily rule that discrimination against gays is perfectly constitutional. Yikes.

Fasten your seatbelts.

by Anonymousreply 6912/07/2012

I thought the issue of standing had already been decided. Why would SCOTUS be taking up that question?

by Anonymousreply 7012/07/2012

Here comes Revenge of the Right

by Anonymousreply 7112/07/2012

It's called "Backlash." Gay marriage's win at the polls has drive the Scalia and Thomas faction to near violence. Right now they are putting the screws to Roberts, probably with threats.

by Anonymousreply 7212/07/2012

The issue of standing was decided by lower courts, not by Supremes.

If they were attacking any other group other than the gays, the defendants (their side) would decidedly NOT have standing, so the justices have to at least comment on it in some way now that it's in their court.

by Anonymousreply 7312/07/2012

Scotusblog analysis at the link. Well worth reading. The court will be deciding the standing issue as well as the root issues in both cases. Quoting:

In the California Proposition 8 case, the Court told lawyers to argue whether the proponents of the amendment to the state constitution had “standing” under Article III. “Standing” simply means the right to be in court. There are very specific qualifications that must be met in order to have “standing.” In striking down “Proposition 8,” the Ninth Circuit Court had ruled that the proponents of a ballot measure have a specific interest in defending it, and that is enough to justify their being in court. Without that finding, the Circuit Court would have had no authority to rule on the measure’s validity.

by Anonymousreply 7412/07/2012

THIS FUCKING SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TELL ME WHY I SHOULDN'T BE PISSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

by Anonymousreply 7512/07/2012

Shouldn't you wait for a negative outcome before you decide to get pissed?

by Anonymousreply 7612/07/2012

The Supreme Court will always avoid ruling on a constitutional issue if there is any other way to decide a case.

My bet is that they will dismiss for lack of standing and leave it at that.

by Anonymousreply 7712/07/2012

anyone else?

by Anonymousreply 7812/07/2012

I just made $750 for reporting software piracy.

I installed some torrented software that was cracked on a company computer. I waited a week then reported it. And the software company gave me a reward and my Scrooge of a boss got fined for having illegal software on his computer.

by Anonymousreply 7912/08/2012

Hoping Scalia and Thomas drop dead soon. That's all.

by Anonymousreply 8012/09/2012

This gives the right 4 months to intimidate or bribe the justices. We'd better be on our game, children. The Supreme Court of the USA is not exactly above corruption.

by Anonymousreply 8112/09/2012

R80, maybe Thomas will choke on that pubic hair on his soda.

by Anonymousreply 8212/09/2012
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