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US: Supreme Court asked to hear Proposition 8 appeal

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  1. Cardinal Capone 1 Aug 2012, 11:35am

    I hope the judges can look at the issues dispassionately and ignore any pressure from certain religious organisations.

  2. What are the implications if this goes to the Supreme court and they give a pro same sex marriage decision? Will it only impact on California or will it set a precedent for other states?

    1. Cardinal Capone 1 Aug 2012, 1:06pm

      Legally the decision being appealed was drawn quite narrowly particular to the circumstances in California. I think it was along the lines that the California state courts had already decided that the right already existed under the California constitution, but prop 8 then purported to take it away, which is a no no. I dont think it raises the issue at a national level.

    2. My understanding is that because of the way it has been worded, if Supreme Court heard this and found in favour of the courts decision, it would only apply to California and not the whole states

      1. David Myers 2 Aug 2012, 8:06am

        It would however discourage other equal marriage opponents from taking similar challenges to other state lower court pro-gay decisions onto the Supreme Court.

  3. I hope the Supreme Court look at this and reach the reasoned and fair decision that equality matters.

    I hope this will then set a precedent to keep the juggernaunt rolling and transform the US to be a fairer place for LGBT people.

    The US can be a beacon of hope for global equality – it needs to choose to be so.

    1. Paddyswurds 1 Aug 2012, 1:00pm

      Unless the Supreme Court abandons the Constitution and the Fourteenth Amendment which guarantees Equality for All Americans, then the Court will probably reject the appeal and refuse to hear it as the argument is moot. If it hears the appeal then the motion will also fall because of the aforementioned Amendment. There is NO wriggle room in the Constitution……..

      1. It does guarantee equality for ALL Americans and thats why the Supreme Court needs to point this out clearly

      2. David Myers 2 Aug 2012, 8:13am

        Agreed. I can’t see the Chief Justice voting against the 14th amendment and that automatically makes at least a five vote majority. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this lower court decision upheld by at least a 6 to 3 decision, possibly even more lopsided than that. The only one you could be sure would be for overturning it would be Clarence Thomas, although, since he regularly alligns with Scalia, if Scalia were to vote to uphold the lower court ruling (not very likely) even Thomas could go along, in which case you would have a rare 9 – 0 decision. Now that would be significant and historic on a gay rights issue and would really discourage future appeals against gay rights issues to the Supreme Court.

  4. Mumbo Jumbo 1 Aug 2012, 1:08pm

    “The 9th Circuit’s error, if left uncorrected, will have widespread and immediate negative consequences.”

    These would be the consequences they famously, completely and abjectly failed to provide at the hearing when given the opportunity by Judge Walker.

    1. Cardinal Capone 1 Aug 2012, 2:44pm

      Well put!

  5. wyocowboy 1 Aug 2012, 1:20pm

    they r doing this for either one or two reasons: 1. to avoid as long as posdible embarassment of being wtong or 2. to see how the Supreme Court will rule which will give them the option yo go further

  6. The appalling thing is all the money they are spending on this lobbying. The US have so many social problems which ought to be taking up these people’s time and effort. Their desperation to perpetuate inequality is sounding really pathetic now.

  7. Cardinal Capone 1 Aug 2012, 3:31pm

    I just looked at the writ on the Prop 8 Trial Tracker site. One of the anti-equality team is called “Alliance Defending Freedom”. Such irony.

  8. Daniel258 1 Aug 2012, 4:31pm

    This continues a troubling trend of conservatives and radical right wing extremists attempting to twist established law into a perverted form that the Founders of America and their forefathers never intended.

    Section 1. of the Fourteenth Amendment reads:

    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    If anything, it supports the right of same-sex couples to marry, not of states to deny them marriage.

  9. Interestingly they are only asking the whether the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment prohibits the State of California from defining marriage as a union between a man and women.

    I think this is a very odd way to appeal the decision because 1) this point was never argued in any of the lower court proceedings and 2) it ignores almost all the facts of the case including how Prop 8 actually was passed.

    I personally think they are trying to stretch the argument to try and win based on the concept that no other court has ever found a federal constitutional right to same sex marriage. I think this this hail mary pass and it gives the SCOTUS a lot more reason to deny review.

    However, I wonder if they deviously will attempt to present a unique question to the court to try and force the case back to the district level?!

    1. It doesn’t give the SCOTUS more reason to deny review. The thing with SCOTUS is that they don’t have to actually decide the questions they are being asked to decide or to decide them along the way that the questions were specifically posed. Their decision can be sua sponte. (Look for example, at the Citizens United – the Court went even further than the lawyers wanted.)

      So, the questions don’t really matter. (I mean, sure, there are issues of “good lawyering”, but) the appellants want to give SCOTUS their set of questions, because SCOTUS’ decision oftentimes depends how you pose the question. For example, if you ask “is there a right to same-sex marriage?” In itself the answer may be “no”. However, if you ask “is there a right to marriage?” the answer is yet, and then you pose the subsequent “can the govt discriminate against its citizens in regulating marriage by sex.orientation?” and the answer may be different.

  10. I’m getting a positive feeling about this. . It may not be a decision that affects US-wide marriage equality, but as far as California is concerned, I have a feeling they will become state number 9.

  11. Philip Chandler 1 Aug 2012, 8:03pm

    It is my opinion that one of two things will transpire in the weeks ahead.

    The first possibility is that the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will refrain from granting certiorari, perhaps issuing a statement to the effect that Proposition 8 and its effects are merely local matters; in other words, the Court may decide the issue by not deciding it. This would have the effect of leaving standing (and binding) the pro-gay marriage opinion handed down by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and Proposition 8 would be overturned by this intermediate appellate court.,

    The second possibility is that SCOTUS will issue certiorari and affirm the holdings and dicta of the US Court of Appeals. I believe that we have the votes to win, and the unusual posture of this case will inicline those Justices who are still sitting on the fence to fall into the pro-marriage equality camp. Both Judge Vaughn Walker of the US District Court and the three-judge panel of (continued)…

  12. Philip Chandler 1 Aug 2012, 8:13pm

    (Continued)…..Both Judge Vaughn Walker of the US District Court and the three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit issued analytically rich and intricate decisions. The appellate court in particular cited Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996) more frequently than Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003) (doubtless because Proposition 8 involves the withdrawal of a fundamental right from a disfavored minority without a rational basis. The fact that Californiia established a domestic partnership system which grants to gay couples ALL of the statewide rights, benefits, and responsibilities of marriage indicates that the state recognized an injustice and tried to be fair. Unfortunately for the state, this very attempt now works againt the state from a legal viewpoint, insofar as there exists no logical basis for granting married status to members of the majority whilst granting another (and lesser) status to members of the disfavored majority…(continue)

    1. I think that the real reason for citing Romer so much is that Roberts was the attorney who prepped the lawyers in that case for their legal argument before the justices. (Not to mention that Kennedy authored both Lawrence and Romer decisions.)

  13. The decision of the California Prop 8 was, was very regional, so I hardly think the Supreme Court will hear there, the more surely will hear the DOMA.

  14. Philip Chandler 1 Aug 2012, 8:18pm

    (continued)….The state of Washington (with its “everything bur\t married”) status may find itself facing almost identical legal problems should the Ninth Circuit’s decision be left standing…

    The third possibility, of course, is that the Court may iissue certiorari and we may lose. However, based on the current membership and voting patterns of the Justices, I don’t believe that this will happen. Once again, Justice Anthony Kennedy will be the swing vote, and based on his last two gay-related decisions (Romer and Lawrencee, both of which he authored), I am cautiously optimistic….

    There is room for hope. Incrementally but steadily, we are winning this movement.


    1. David Myers 2 Aug 2012, 8:19am

      I can’t believe the Chief Justice would go against the 14th amendment either thus at least a 6 – 4 decision upholding the lower court’s ruling is likely, if not an even greater division.

  15. I’m almost willing to bet good money that the Supreme Court declines to hear the case. That way the result (prop 8 being unconstitutional) will be more or less limited to California.

    The American justice system: Change comes at a glacial pace.

  16. Fairness in the laws and the way policies are created, should be the same for everyone… Resist attacks by special interest laws that bar any people their liberties granted by the constitution…
    When they claim it to be a privileged, tell them it’s your right.

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