ONTD Political

Gay marriage: U.S. Supreme Court may not hear Prop. 8 appeal

1:52 pm - 02/07/2012
Until Tuesday, it looked like California's Proposition 8 gay marriage case would be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. But that looks less certain now.

The narrow California-only approach adopted by the 9th Circuit means the high court might choose to steer clear of the dispute.

If so, that would leave for another day — perhaps several years in the future — a national ruling on same-sex marriage.

"The opinion holds that Prop. 8 was unconstitutional only in a case where the state had already granted full legal rights to same-sex couples," said University of Minnesota law school professor Dale Carpenter.

The decision "is specifically looking at the role of Proposition 8 in the California context," said Santa Clara University law professor Margaret M. Russell. Because it is limited to California, the Supreme Court may not be as concerned about reviewing it as it would a ruling that would have affected the entire country, she said.

Several state courts have struck down bans on same-sex marriage based on their state constitutions, but the U.S. Supreme Court has not ruled on whether such a ban denies gays and lesbians the "equal protection of the laws" under the 14th Amendment.

Indeed, the 9th Circuit's opinion reads as though its intended audience was one -- Justice Anthony Kennedy -- and its message was that there was no need for the Supreme Court to decide the California case.

Appeals court judge Stephen Reinhardt, a staunch liberal, did not say gays and lesbians have an equal right to marry under the Constitution. Instead, he said California's voters violated the Constitution by "taking away from them alone" the right they had won to marry under a state Supreme Court decision.

More at source.

Any law-talking people have any ideas when we'll know if SCOTUS wants to hear the case or not? The article doesn't say
13chapters 8th-Feb-2012 04:53 pm (UTC)
Washington state and Maryland are about to legalize gay marriage as well.
age_of_green 8th-Feb-2012 05:06 pm (UTC)
28 then! That's within the "doable in the next 15 years" range.
rimpala 8th-Feb-2012 05:38 pm (UTC)
yup, progress is slow, but ultimately it's inevitable.
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