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Breaking: Prop 8 Stay Remains While Ninth Circuit Asks State Supreme Court For Help

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The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is upholding a stay in Judge Vaughn Walker’s Prop 8 decision, keeping the law alive while it
“seeks guidance” from California’s Supreme Court on the issue of standing, which pertains to whether the plaintiffs ProtectMarriage.com have the appropriate grounds to bring the case. (The Ninth Circuit did decide, however, that Imperial County does not have standing to appeal.) Why ask the state court? Because they’re the experts in knowing how state law operates. The move comes after the appeals court heard arguments last month.

  • 12 Comments
    • Gary B.
      Gary B.

      I really don’t know how to feel about this. I had assumed it was on a fast track to the Supreme Court where there it could be argued whether gay marriage discrimination was constitutional nationwide. Maybe I was living in fantasyland.

      Anyway, regardless of whether this is a good thing or not (I have no idea), I do know that it seems to mean that this thing now will get dragged out even longer.

      The one thing I do know for sure is that gay marriage discrimination has to be overturned nationally as soon as humanly possible. Anything less is just heartbreaking and a criminal violation of civil rights.

      Jan 4, 2011 at 10:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 2 · Gary B. wrote, “I really don’t know how to feel about this.” … according to http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/01/04/BAE01H3TSB.DTL&tsp=1 (which came out later and has more details than the QUEERTY article), “The three-member panel, Judges Stephen Reinhardt, Michael Hawkins and N. Randy Smith, made its view clear Tuesday: that California’s initiative process ‘would appear to be ill-served’ if elected officials could nullify a voter-approved initiative by refusing to defend it. But the judges said they need advice from the California Supreme Court, the final interpreter of state law, on whether sponsors of an initiative can defend it on their own.”

      The court did deny standing to Imperial County (which wanted to butt in).

      Jan 5, 2011 at 1:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gary B.
      Gary B.

      @B: I’m sorry, and this means what?

      All I know is any additional time it takes for gay marriage to be legalized nationally is a criminal disregard of basic civil rights. That might not be true according to the law, but it is according to me.

      Jan 5, 2011 at 7:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • robert in NYC
      robert in NYC

      I just don’t see same-sex marriage at the national level to be a possibility, not with 5 very antigay, catholic judges sitting on the bench of the SCOTUS, all of whom oppose marriage equality. Its pure fantasy to think they will change. In the U.S. its going to be an incredibly slow process on a state by state basis to get marriage equality at the national level if at all. Maybe in the 22nd century it will happen, but not while the majority of the religious cults in this screwed up society are allowed to influence the outcome of equality legislation. A lot of politicians on both sides of the aisle are more concerned about preserving their jobs than sticking their necks out in our behalf. Without one party endorsing it as offficial policy, we’re not going to get anywhere. The republicans will oppose it in deference to the religious cults, over and over. Maybe I’m being pessimistic, but my gut feeling says it won’t happen in our lifetime.

      Jan 5, 2011 at 8:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • justiceontherocks
      justiceontherocks

      Nothing to be upset about here. Federal courts do this all the time when there is an undecided state law issue.

      If standing isn’t granted the case is over without a resolution on the merits of Prop 8. The proponents will appeal the standing issue to the Supreme Court, and smart people don’t make bets on how the nine justices will rule.

      Jan 5, 2011 at 10:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard
      the crustybastard

      If the state of California has no problem with Richard “The Night Stalker” Ramirez getting married while confined to Death Row — presumably allowed because even serial rapist mutilation murderers enjoy the basic human right to marry — then the state cannot cannot deny an entire class of people the basic human right to marry based on some voter’s nonspecific moral objection to other people’s legal sexual behavior.

      The actual legal question at issue here is “are gays people?”

      Any other issue that arises is intended to obfuscate that very simple question for the purpose of legal chicanery.

      Jan 5, 2011 at 12:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 4 · Gary B. wrote, “@B: I’m sorry, and this means what?”

      Just what I said – read http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/01/04/BAE01H3TSB.DTL&tsp=1 (the article I quoted) for all the details. If you want to know how to feel about it, the first step is to find out more about what actually happened. The article has a short analysis of what happened (but a lot longer than QUEERTY’s initial summary).

      Jan 5, 2011 at 9:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 7 · the crustybastard wrote, “If the state of California has no problem with Richard “The Night Stalker” Ramirez getting married while confined to Death Row — presumably allowed because even serial rapist mutilation murderers enjoy the basic human right to marry — then the state cannot cannot deny an entire class of people the basic human right to marry based on some voter’s nonspecific moral objection to other people’s legal sexual behavior.”

      Unfortunately, the difference is that a restriction on Richard Ramirez’s right to marry was not put into the California State Constitution. Before Prop 8 was passed, the California Supreme Court ruled that gays did have a right to be married, but the constitutional change undid that decision.

      At this point, it is really up to the federal courts (or an initiative to repeal Prop 8).

      Jan 5, 2011 at 9:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard
      the crustybastard

      @B:

      Your argument might have some merit if a California voter initiative could repeal portions of the federal and state constitutions that guarantee equal protection and due process to any and/or all classes of persons.

      But they can’t.

      They can’t for the same reason that Alabama voters couldn’t vote to re-enslave their neighbors of African descent.

      Jan 5, 2011 at 10:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 10 · the crustybastard wrote, “@B: Your argument might have some merit if a California voter initiative could repeal portions of the federal and state constitutions that guarantee equal protection and due process to any and/or all classes of persons.”

      The argument was why the two cases were different, and the California Supreme Court did not overturn Prop 8 (although the case brought to it tried to remove it on the grounds of being a revision to the state constitution rather than an amendment and did not make an argument regarding the U.S. constitution).

      The problem with your argument is the “state constitutions” part of it – the state constitution was modified by the voters to allow this sort of discrimination. It’s now up to the federal courts to fix that by ruling that this change to the state constitution is not allowed under the federal one.

      Jan 7, 2011 at 1:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard
      the crustybastard

      @B:

      It’s Constitutionally impermissible for any statute, initiative or regulation to create a class of persons for the purpose of discriminating against that class out of animus or caprice.

      Ergo, voters cannot vote to “allow this sort of discrimination” simply because gays are politically unpopular.

      The fact that gays are politically unpopular is also the reason why SCOCA issued such an illogical and atrocious ruling upholding Prop8, allowing the majority heterosexuals to limit access to the specially favored legal status of “spouse” to themselves, despite SCOCA saying In Re Marriage Cases that the right is not so limited.

      Again, marriage is a fundamental right. A fundamental right is one with an even deeper dimension than a Constitutional right. Fundamental rights are human rights, inalienable rights. To deny someone their fundamental rights is to deny that they are human.

      So I repeat, the ultimate legal question is, “are gays people?”

      Jan 7, 2011 at 1:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • robert in NYC
      robert in NYC

      No. 11, you make an excellent point. I think in the long run, the 14th amendment will have to be looked at if a minority must have its fundamental rights protected and guaranteed, though I wouldn’t be surprised if the 5 very conservative catholic judges on the bench of the SCOTUS see it differently.

      Jan 7, 2011 at 1:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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