Tag Archive: Prop 8

Jun 26 2013

SCOTUS: DOMA Struck Down; Dismisses Prop 8

Equal Right to Marry photo imagesqtbnANd9GcQmD05y7D9pRuFTg2wtz_zpsbcb78269.jpg The Supreme Court ruled on two important cases for the LGBT community: Windsor v. U.S., addressing the Defense of Marriage Act, and Hollingsworth v. Perry, addressing California’s Proposition 8.

On DOMA, which was signed into law by Pres. Bill Clinton in 1996, the court ruled (pdf) that same-sex spouses legally married in a state may receive federal benefits. Justice Kennedy delivered the court’s opinion, and was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito all filed dissenting opinions. While the ruling is a victory on the federal level, the 5- 4 ruling does not effect a state’s right to ban same sex marriage.

“The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion. “By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment.”

The plaintiff who brought the case, Edie Windsor, 84, will now get her refund for the $363,000 in federal estate taxes she paid after her spouse, Thea Spyer, died in 2009.

In the Prop 8 case, that was argued before the court by attorneys, Theodore Olson and David Boies, the court decided, again by a 5 – 4 decision, that the opponents of same sex marriage have no standing to sue. The ruling allows gay couples in California to marry.

“We have never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend the constitutionality of a state statute when state officials have chosen not to,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. “We decline to do so for the first time here.”

Roberts was joined in his majority opinion by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan. Justice Anthony Kennedy filed a dissenting opinion, joined by Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor.

The judgement of the Ninth Circuit was vacated and the case remanded with instructions to dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

California voters added Proposition 8 to the state’s constitution in 2008 through a ballot initiative that reversed the state Supreme Court’s recognition of same-sex marriage earlier that year. Two same-sex couples challenged the ban in federal court, and by the time their suit reached the justices, two lower courts had declared it unconstitutional.

After the disappointing ruling yesterday striking down a key part of the Voting Rights Act, this is truly a great day for equal rights in the US.

Feb 07 2012

9th Circuit Court Rules CA Prop 8 Unconstitutional

This morning the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that California’s Prop 8 is unconstitutional striking down the ban on gay marriage under both the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment. The ruling is limited and specific to California only.

“Proposition 8 served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California,” the court said.

The ruling upheld a decision by retired Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who struck down the ballot measure in 2010 after holding an unprecedented trial on the nature of sexual orientation and the history of marriage.

The ruling makes same sex marriage legal again in California but it is expected that the court will not permit marriages to take place while the appeals are in progress. The backers of Prop 8 have stated that they will appeal this ruling but have not said if they would request a the full 9th Court to hear the appeal or take it directly to the US Supreme Court.

Ninth Circuit Prop. 8 decision

Aug 12 2010

Judge Will Lift Stay on Same Sex Marriage on August 18: Up Date x 2 with Video

Judge Vaughn Walker rules today that the stay he issued on his ruling that Prop 8 banning of gay marriage was unconstitutional, will be permanently lifted on August 18. At that time, all districts will cease to enforce Prop 8 and allow all to register to marry.

Order on Motion to stay (warning pdf file)

The clerk is DIRECTED to enter judgment forthwith. That judgment shall be STAYED until August 18, 2010 at 5 PM PDT at which time defendants and all persons under their control or supervision shall cease to apply or enforce Proposition 8. (vrwlc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 8/12/2010)

There was also a question of the standing of the proponents to appeal this stay and the ruling since this is a state law and the state of California has decided not to pursue an appeal.

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Aug 05 2010

CA Prop 8: The Fight Has Just Begun

With the careful ruling by Judge Walker yesterday that Proposition 8 violates the 14th Amendment’s due precess and equal protection, the arguments to reverse Judge Walker had already started even before the decision was revealed. The defendants asked that the decision be immediately stayed if it did not go in their favor, which it didn’t. So, Judge Walker issued an immediate stay until this Friday, Aug 6, to give the defendants time to file for a permanent stay while the appeals process continues. Now, it will be up to the 9th Circuit Court to decide the stay and if the full court will hear the appeal.

Last night, Rachel Maddow had as her guests Dahlia Lithwick of Slate and the two lawyers who successfully challenged Prop 8, David Boies and Ted Olson.

First is Rachel with Dahlia. The video with Boies and Olson is below the fold, also links to other opinions and analysis on the ruling.

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Aug 04 2010

CA Prop 8 Ruled Unconstitutional by Federal Judge

Proposition 8 has just been ruled unconstitutional by Federal Circuit Court Judge Vaughn Walker:

“Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license.”

Ruling enjoins enforcement of California’s Proposition 8.