BREAKING: Appeals Court Won’t Rehear Case About CA’s Unconstitutional Prop 8

In a step forward for marriage equality, the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco has refused to rehear the case about Prop. 8. California’s voter-approved measure sought to strictly define marriage as only between a man and a woman, thereby negating a 2008 ruling that from the state’s Supreme Court that legalized same-sex marriage.

From CNN:

In February, a three-judge panel of that court ruled [Prop. 8] unconstitutional. In their split decision, the panel found that Proposition 8 “works a meaningful harm to gays and lesbians” by denying their right to civil marriage in violation of the 14th Amendment.

Backers of the proposition had asked for a larger panel of judges to rehear the case. In a seven-page order Tuesday, the court refused.

The parties now have 90 days to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene. In the meantime, a stay on same-sex marriages in California will remain in place until the issue is exhausted in the courts.

So, now, either supporters of Prop. 8 will take their case against gay marriage to the U.S. Supreme course, or, gays and lesbians will be free to marry in California once again!

Read the full court ruling here.

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  • 1equalityUSA

    Equality for all citizens, even unpopular ones.

  • EvonCook

    Equality and social rights should not be up for vote in any case. Slaves wouldn’t be free, women and blacks wouldn’t be full citizens and nor would gays and lesbians. Popularity should have nothing to do with civil rights. It actually would have been wonderful as an executive order. The courts have to bear the charge of “activism” because the haters want whatever route is the least possible and dismiss or degrade any institution of authority and fairness that doesn’t serve their bigoted interests.

  • EvonCook

    However I fear that this will go a long way to further hurt Obama in the election if all people don’t come out and stand up for universal justice.

  • Bailey

    @EvonCook: The courts only have activist judges when conservative disagrees with them actually do their jobs because they don’t like the ruling, however that same conservatives will say they are upholding the constitution when they agree with the decision.

  • EvonCook

    @Bailey: I agree with you. In fact, I heard the real definition of an “activist” judge is one who rules against your interests!

  • Bob W

    FYI folks, there is NO guarantee that SCOTUS will actually take the case. Yes, the pro-prop-8 folks are going to appeal (and you know they will wait until the 89th day to file the appeal), but that does not meal they will actually take the case.

    I’m actually very surprised that every news report has failed to point this out. In fact, i’m not sure they will take the case due to the nature of how well-written and justified the lower court’s ruling was. In reading the denial of the en banc request, one of the disccenting judges said he thought the court SHOULD hear the case because it overturned the will of 8 million California voters. What shocked me is that he didn’t discuss how the lower court judge ruled and why his ruling was incorrect. Now THERE is an example of an activist judge. A man who dosn’t make a decision on the law, but rather his political views. I’m glad his voice didn’t carry the day. And in fact, SCOTUS has to review the lower court ruling and will only take the case if there were flaws in the ruling (ie: setting a new precident, using incorrect case citations, etc.) NOT for political reasons.

    So, i’m not sure SCOTUS will take the case. Oh, one more thing, because none of the lower court’s ruling TOUCHED the issue of gay marriage in general, the interstate commerce clause, etc….the rulings were laser focused on whether the State of CA had a profound reason for both marriage rights to gay couples. Also, this was about a state initiative petition, not a law enacted by elected officials. That said, SCOTUS could easily pass on this case because it would have impact on ONE state. HOWEVER, if they take the case, if they uphold the lower court rulings, could have the same effect as Row vs Wade. Not sure they are ready for that just yet.

  • William

    I doubt the Supreme Court will even hear the case

  • 1equalityUSA

    I remember when Judge Vaughn Walker was taking this case and people came out of the woodwork to douse our enthusiasm. They were wrong on all predictions. Let’s proceed and continue to fight for equality. This fight is not going away and every day that passes where some Americans are held in second class status is illegal. SCOTUS is seeing the Nation being torn apart by all of the law suits, careers off of our backs, and money exchanging hands over this illegal discrimination, so they may rule on this case, or wait for a bigger Massachusetts-DOMA-fish, known primarily by their shiny, bright, rainbow scales of justice. Equality is inevitable. Two tiers of rights cannot be supported. Religious beliefs have no place coercing civil law. My hope is that this will be settled once and for all, but it might have to be a bigger fish.

  • Belize

    JAYKAY: “California has no right to legalize gay marriage. How dare these beach-side bums flaunt their liberalism while we hardworkin’, macho, gay men of the hill billy counties show our macho-ness by not seeking out equal rights? You liberal queens are sissies for not being able to endure inequality.”

    No need to comment anymore, JayKay…KK. Now you more time for you to continue milking your cows and feeding the 36 children you fathered just to avoid getting bashed by your neighbors.

    JASON: “And now we can expect more sexual promiscuity from the evil porn land of California and its sexuality active gay men who do not know the value of having cobwebs between their legs. You Californians may have your fancy gay marriage right back but at least I save money on underwear.”

    There. No need to comment anymore, Queen Jason. Now you have more time to continue growing that arachnid metropolis you’re growing between your legs.

  • me

    As I recall, the 3 judge Appeals panel made their ruling VERY specific in that Proposition 8’s real problem is that it REMOVED a right that had already been established (same-sex marriage).

    There are very few states that are in this type of situation.

    If SCOTUS uphold’s the Appeal’s Court ruling it may be extremely restrictive in scope. Instead of granting marriage equality to ALL gays and lesbians in ALL 50 states…. it might be very narrowly focussed on states that PERMIT gay marriage one day… only LATER to have that marriage right taken away. That’s the situation that happened in CA.

  • me

    If you count all of the judges that signed on to the “bankruptcy” case in CA, I believe that we have over 25 federal judges that have ruled that various anti-gay laws are unconstitutional.

    Have we seen ANY federal judge say that an anti-gay law is constitutional?

    It seems like SCOTUS would be essentially going against 25+ federal judges if they don’t rule that at least ONE aspect of DOMA or Prop 8 is unconstitutional.

    Hopefully SCOTUS can pick up a case that BROADLY DECLARES that discrimination against gays is unconstitutional. Sadly, SCOTUS often gives rather narrow decisions on many cases which could mean a confusing and partial victory for LGBT rights.

  • me

    It is important to look at the decision carefully.

    The TWO Appeals judges (out of the 3) that voted that rights WERE denied to gays responded to a dissenting judge’s comments concerning whether or not the case should be reviewed by a larger panel of judges in the 9th Circuit.

    The two Appeals judges said:

    “REINHARDT and HAWKINS, Circuit Judges, concurring in the denial of rehearing
    en banc:

    We are puzzled by our dissenting colleagues’ unusual reliance on the
    President’s views regarding the Constitution, especially as the President did not
    discuss the narrow issue that we decided in our opinion. We held only that under the
    particular circumstances relating to California’s Proposition 8, that measure was
    invalid. In line w ith the rules governing judicial resolution of constitutional issues, w e
    did not resolve the fundamental question that both sides asked us to: whether the
    Constitution prohibits the states from banning same-sex marriage. That question may
    be decided in the near future, but if so, it should be in some other case, at some other

    I think that this makes it clear that the 2 judge ruling was rather NARROW concerning marriage equality.

  • Dennis Velco

    Thanks for your article.
    I posted it to my LGBT Group on LinkedIn and also made a comment there to spur members to read your article and to make comment. I also scooped it at Scoop.It on my LGBT Times news mashup.

    All LGBT+ and community allies…. please come join me and 14,000 of your soon to be great friends on LinkedIn. The member base represents 80% of the world’s countries.

    It is strictly professional office friendly dialog, posting and profiles / profile images. I’ve been told by many that it may well be one of the best run / managed groups on LinkedIn. It even has several LinkedIn top executives as members.

    You can be as out or private as you like and I provide instructions on how to set those preferences (In the Manager’s Choice area).
    EVERY new member is placed automatically and systematically on a temporary 100% moderation to ensure that Right Wingers don’t join and immediately spew forth their garbage. I have the ability to place individuals on 100% moderation at any time and can remove and ban people from the group as necessary. If removed for hate speech I report them to LinkedIn.

    It’s core value is – Visibility can lead to awareness which can lead to equality. Come stand with us and increase our visibility on the globe’s largest professional networking site. Be a professional who just happens to be LGBT – or a welcomed community ally.

    Link to group >>

  • JayUVA

    An election year, we can count on NOM, the Family Hate Council-related groups and the republican propaganda arm to conflate, abnegate and denigrate the topic of marriage equality. We aren’t asking for ‘special rights’ or ‘more rights’ – just ‘equal rights’.

  • scott

    to quote your last line you used the word “or”
    i dont get why this is newsworthy if the whole issue is still up for grabs. it would have been interesting to Read the full court ruling here. I don’t have a pdf reader on this computer.

  • Spike

    If the Supreme Court agrees to hear the case, it will be clear that it is the intention of the activist conservative jurist who want to make gay marriage the #1 issue in the next Presidential election, otherwise, they will refuse to hear the case and let the 9th Circuit Court case stand.

  • B

    No. 3 · EvonCook wrote, “However I fear that this will go a long way to further hurt Obama in the election if all people don’t come out and stand up for universal justice.”

    I don’t think it will have any impact at all. The “yes on eight” side has 90 days to appeal and will most likely file that appeal on the last day possible – i.e., in early
    September. Then the Supreme Court has to decide if it is going to hear the case. That will take time too – with everything else on its plate, it is unlikely to respond with the two month window needed to do anything before the election.

    The reason the “yes on eight” people will take the full 90 days to file an appeal (even though they no doubt have everything written and ready to go) is that they want to delay same-sex marriage as long as possible, even if they ultimately lose. Dragging things out is their best strategy (and they did the same thing – wait as long as possible – before filing the last appeal).

Comments are closed.