Prop.8 and DOMA cases granted by SCOTUS

  • Whipmagic

    Posts: 1481

    Dec 07, 2012 8:18 PM GMT
    This one just in: The Supreme Court will hear the California Prop. 8 case, both on the substance (14th amendment question) and stadig. It will also hear one of the DOMA Section 3 cases, Windsor.
  • Import

    Posts: 7190

    Dec 07, 2012 8:30 PM GMT
    explain to me what this means. . . please


    so they hear the prop 8 and if they do what? what will happen? also, what about the other thing? will this cause a nation-wide legalization of marriage for same-sex couples? whats the significance?
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    Dec 07, 2012 8:47 PM GMT
    @ Import-

    They're hearing the Prop 8 case to pretty much discuss it's legality. Every state is allowed to have their own rules ( constitutions ) on different measures: Marrige Eqality, Marijuana Usage, Abortion, Etc. . .

    Some states strictly prohibit Same-Sex Marrige, while others are more lenient in their wording of it ( hence, why these props keep coming up during elections).

    They're hearing the Californa Case, if it's approved, it can pretty much establish Sam-Sex Marrige as a right; which will also legalize it in several other states.

    As for the significance, it's a huge leap forward for the Gay Rights Movement.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Dec 07, 2012 8:47 PM GMT
    Trying to sort this all out, it is clear that the Court has agreed to consider the merits case in Prop. 8, because that is what the petition presented as its question, but that it is also going to address whether the proponents had a right to pursue their case. If the Court were to find that the proponents did not have Art. III standing, that is the end of the matter: there would be no review on the merits of Proposition 8, or of the 9th CA decision striking it down.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Dec 07, 2012 8:51 PM GMT
    This would not necessarily affect any other state than California.

    However, if they were so inclined, they could take this opportunity to legalize gay marriage for the entire United States.

    BTW, they agreed to take the DOMA case, too.
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    Dec 07, 2012 8:54 PM GMT
    Import saidexplain to me what this means. . . please


    so they hear the prop 8 and if they do what? what will happen? also, what about the other thing? will this cause a nation-wide legalization of marriage for same-sex couples? whats the significance?
    They are hearing two cases. The Proposition 8 case in California, and a NY appeal regarding the unconstitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.

    On the Prop 8 issue, the Supreme Court has 3 options. 1) Reverse the appeals court's ruling that it's unconstitutional, which would keep same-sex marriage banned in California until voters reverse it. 2) Handle the narrower issue, that would overrule prop 8, but only apply it to California (so same-sex marriage would be legal in CA, but not other states that don't allow it or 3) The big one, they could apply the case in California to mean that all states must allow same-sex marriage (the Loving v. Virginia version of same-sex marriage in other words).

    The other issue, is DOMA, and they will determine whether that law is unconstitutional or not. If they rule it is, the Federal government must recognize same-sex marriages where it's legal.
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    Dec 07, 2012 8:56 PM GMT
    Webster666 saidThis would not necessarily affect any other state than California.


    You are absolutely right about that, but, it's only because of the DOMA Case though. .
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    Dec 07, 2012 8:57 PM GMT
    Import saidexplain to me what this means. . . please


    so they hear the prop 8 and if they do what? what will happen? also, what about the other thing? will this cause a nation-wide legalization of marriage for same-sex couples? whats the significance?


    I'm surprised they got up the balls to hear us at all. I expected them to drop the ball again. But I don't think we know yet where they go from here.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/07/supreme-court-gay-marriage_n_2218441.html says "they will review a federal appeals court ruling that struck down the state's gay marriage ban, though on narrow grounds. The San Francisco-based appeals court said the state could not take away the same-sex marriage right that had been granted by California's Supreme Court.", so conceivably the Supremes could keep their decision making that narrow, without endowing us with human rights across the board.

    Or they could let their newly found balls drop and seek to define the legitimacy of gay marriage generally. If they find us to be 100% human such that our relationships are just as valid as are heterosexual ones, then they can declare by their decision all of the state amendents against us as being unconstitutional.

    Nothing forces consideration of the broarder decision but the conscience of the court. It's possible that they would not give us our rights now but wait for a future case whereby, say, one state refuses to recognize the marriage performed in another state for tax purposes, inheritance, whatever. That might be a little more targetted. These cases might be a little more safer for them to cover their nuts. I hope they surprise me on this too. But I suspect an S&M play here. They're gonna drag this torture out. I suspect that's how Scalia get's his rocks off.
  • Import

    Posts: 7190

    Dec 07, 2012 9:00 PM GMT
    Fiyero27 said
    Import saidexplain to me what this means. . . please


    so they hear the prop 8 and if they do what? what will happen? also, what about the other thing? will this cause a nation-wide legalization of marriage for same-sex couples? whats the significance?
    They are hearing two cases. The Proposition 8 case in California, and a NY appeal regarding the unconstitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.

    On the Prop 8 issue, the Supreme Court has 3 options. 1) Reverse the appeals court's ruling that it's unconstitutional, which would keep same-sex marriage banned in California until voters reverse it. 2) Handle the narrower issue, that would overrule prop 8, but only apply it to California (so same-sex marriage would be legal in CA, but not other states that don't allow it or 3) The big one, they could apply the case in California to mean that all states must allow same-sex marriage (the Loving v. Virginia version of same-sex marriage in other words).

    The other issue, is DOMA, and they will determine whether that law is unconstitutional or not. If they rule it is, the Federal government must recognize same-sex marriages where it's legal.


    oh ok. That breaks it down rather nicely for me. Thank you.

    When can we expect a decision from the supreme court? I hope it's in time for wedding season in June. .
    no jk, but seriously, I wonder when they will sort this out? and who the hell are they to determine it? A bunch of old people that have this job for life? Do they really get it? Aren't most of them Bush-era justices leaning more on the socially conservative side?
  • Import

    Posts: 7190

    Dec 07, 2012 9:01 PM GMT
    Slim2010 said@ Import-

    They're hearing the Prop 8 case to pretty much discuss it's legality. Every state is allowed to have their own rules ( constitutions ) on different measures: Marrige Eqality, Marijuana Usage, Abortion, Etc. . .

    Some states strictly prohibit Same-Sex Marrige, while others are more lenient in their wording of it ( hence, why these props keep coming up during elections).

    They're hearing the Californa Case, if it's approved, it can pretty much establish Sam-Sex Marrige as a right; which will also legalize it in several other states.

    As for the significance, it's a huge leap forward for the Gay Rights Movement.

    cool man, thanks. The significane in that is rather big then.
    Exciting. I guess. icon_smile.gif
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    Dec 07, 2012 9:09 PM GMT
    Import said
    Fiyero27 said
    Import saidexplain to me what this means. . . please


    so they hear the prop 8 and if they do what? what will happen? also, what about the other thing? will this cause a nation-wide legalization of marriage for same-sex couples? whats the significance?
    They are hearing two cases. The Proposition 8 case in California, and a NY appeal regarding the unconstitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.

    On the Prop 8 issue, the Supreme Court has 3 options. 1) Reverse the appeals court's ruling that it's unconstitutional, which would keep same-sex marriage banned in California until voters reverse it. 2) Handle the narrower issue, that would overrule prop 8, but only apply it to California (so same-sex marriage would be legal in CA, but not other states that don't allow it or 3) The big one, they could apply the case in California to mean that all states must allow same-sex marriage (the Loving v. Virginia version of same-sex marriage in other words).

    The other issue, is DOMA, and they will determine whether that law is unconstitutional or not. If they rule it is, the Federal government must recognize same-sex marriages where it's legal.


    oh ok. That breaks it down rather nicely for me. Thank you.

    When can we expect a decision from the supreme court? I hope it's in time for wedding season in June. .
    no jk, but seriously, I wonder when they will sort this out? and who the hell are they to determine it? A bunch of old people that have this job for life? Do they really get it? Aren't most of them Bush-era justices leaning more on the socially conservative side?
    Arguments begin the end of March, a decision likely around the end of June. Supposedly on my birthday in fact. Yay!

    But I think the official deadline is before July 4th.

    The Court does lean Conservative yes. Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Kagan, and Breyer are the 4 liberal justices. Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito are Conservative. Kennedy is the swing vote. I think he's actually more conservative leaning, however he tends to side with the liberal court on issues like this. But quite frankly, I doubt any of the 9 justices except Scalia or Thomas would want to vote against same-sex marriage. They know this is a huge huge historic issue and they don't generally like being on the wrong side of history. Loving v. Virginia was unanimous. We can only hope these cases are too, despite Scalia being personally opposed to homosexuality.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Dec 07, 2012 9:10 PM GMT
    Slim2010 said
    Webster666 saidThis would not necessarily affect any other state than California.


    You are absolutely right about that, but, it's only because of the DOMA Case though. .



    No, they are 2 separate cases.
    If the Court rules against the people who appealed the lower court decision, which struck down Proposition 8 (which took away our California Constitutional right to gay marriage), gay marriage would be legal only in California.

    If the Court rules for those people, gay marriage would remain illegal in California.

    However, as I said before, the Supremes could rule that gay marriage is legal in all 50 states, even though that isn't a part of either case.

    DOMA is Federal. It simply says that married gay people have no Federal rights similar to those enjoyed by straight married couples.
    The Court will rule whether they believe that is (or isn't) Constitutional.

  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Dec 07, 2012 9:19 PM GMT
    The Court is not on a time table.
    They can drag this out as long as they want.

    The BIG positive aspect of the Prop 8 case is that Judge Walker (who ruled that Prop 8 was unconstitutional), used the same arguments that Supreme Court Justice Kennedy used in previous cases (before he was a Supreme Court Justice). So, it would be likely that Kennedy would not change his mind, and go against his previous rulings. And, that would give us the 5 votes that we need to win gay marriage in California.
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    Dec 07, 2012 9:25 PM GMT
    Fiyero27 said
    Import said
    Fiyero27 said
    Import saidexplain to me what this means. . . please


    so they hear the prop 8 and if they do what? what will happen? also, what about the other thing? will this cause a nation-wide legalization of marriage for same-sex couples? whats the significance?
    They are hearing two cases. The Proposition 8 case in California, and a NY appeal regarding the unconstitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.

    On the Prop 8 issue, the Supreme Court has 3 options. 1) Reverse the appeals court's ruling that it's unconstitutional, which would keep same-sex marriage banned in California until voters reverse it. 2) Handle the narrower issue, that would overrule prop 8, but only apply it to California (so same-sex marriage would be legal in CA, but not other states that don't allow it or 3) The big one, they could apply the case in California to mean that all states must allow same-sex marriage (the Loving v. Virginia version of same-sex marriage in other words).

    The other issue, is DOMA, and they will determine whether that law is unconstitutional or not. If they rule it is, the Federal government must recognize same-sex marriages where it's legal.


    oh ok. That breaks it down rather nicely for me. Thank you.

    When can we expect a decision from the supreme court? I hope it's in time for wedding season in June. .
    no jk, but seriously, I wonder when they will sort this out? and who the hell are they to determine it? A bunch of old people that have this job for life? Do they really get it? Aren't most of them Bush-era justices leaning more on the socially conservative side?
    Arguments begin the end of March, a decision likely around the end of June. Supposedly on my birthday in fact. Yay!

    But I think the official deadline is before July 4th.

    The Court does lean Conservative yes. Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Kagan, and Breyer are the 4 liberal justices. Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito are Conservative. Kennedy is the swing vote. I think he's actually more conservative leaning, however he tends to side with the liberal court on issues like this. But quite frankly, I doubt any of the 9 justices except Scalia or Thomas would want to vote against same-sex marriage. They know this is a huge huge historic issue and they don't generally like being on the wrong side of history. Loving v. Virginia was unanimous. We can only hope these cases are too, despite Scalia being personally opposed to homosexuality.




    Will justice Kagan be hearing the case though? I thought she'd have to Recuse herself since she was Solicitor General when the case first reached the Supreme Courts Docket. .
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    Dec 07, 2012 9:27 PM GMT
    Slim2010 said
    Fiyero27 said
    Import said
    Fiyero27 said
    Import saidexplain to me what this means. . . please


    so they hear the prop 8 and if they do what? what will happen? also, what about the other thing? will this cause a nation-wide legalization of marriage for same-sex couples? whats the significance?
    They are hearing two cases. The Proposition 8 case in California, and a NY appeal regarding the unconstitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.

    On the Prop 8 issue, the Supreme Court has 3 options. 1) Reverse the appeals court's ruling that it's unconstitutional, which would keep same-sex marriage banned in California until voters reverse it. 2) Handle the narrower issue, that would overrule prop 8, but only apply it to California (so same-sex marriage would be legal in CA, but not other states that don't allow it or 3) The big one, they could apply the case in California to mean that all states must allow same-sex marriage (the Loving v. Virginia version of same-sex marriage in other words).

    The other issue, is DOMA, and they will determine whether that law is unconstitutional or not. If they rule it is, the Federal government must recognize same-sex marriages where it's legal.


    oh ok. That breaks it down rather nicely for me. Thank you.

    When can we expect a decision from the supreme court? I hope it's in time for wedding season in June. .
    no jk, but seriously, I wonder when they will sort this out? and who the hell are they to determine it? A bunch of old people that have this job for life? Do they really get it? Aren't most of them Bush-era justices leaning more on the socially conservative side?
    Arguments begin the end of March, a decision likely around the end of June. Supposedly on my birthday in fact. Yay!

    But I think the official deadline is before July 4th.

    The Court does lean Conservative yes. Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Kagan, and Breyer are the 4 liberal justices. Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito are Conservative. Kennedy is the swing vote. I think he's actually more conservative leaning, however he tends to side with the liberal court on issues like this. But quite frankly, I doubt any of the 9 justices except Scalia or Thomas would want to vote against same-sex marriage. They know this is a huge huge historic issue and they don't generally like being on the wrong side of history. Loving v. Virginia was unanimous. We can only hope these cases are too, despite Scalia being personally opposed to homosexuality.




    Will justice Kagan be hearing the case though? I thought she'd have to Recuse herself since she was Solicitor General when the case first reached the Supreme Courts Docket. .
    The current solicitor general gave the court some options to allow Kagan to hear the case, which is why I believe the Windsor case is the one that was pushed to the SCOTUS so quickly. The SG wanted to make sure all 9 justices could hear such a historic case.
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    Dec 07, 2012 9:46 PM GMT
    Interesting. I didn't know that it was optional to do so, I though it was Federal Law regardless of the case. That's great though. This will definitely go down as one of the most Historic Cases the SC has heard,
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    Dec 07, 2012 10:19 PM GMT
    It will be interesting to see how the conservative judges rule. It is, remember, not so much about homosexuality as it is about equality. They can certainly justify a favorable vote for constitutionality of the issue of equality and still remain conservatively opposed to homosexuality, although it's a fine line for them personally, professionally it may not be.
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    Dec 07, 2012 10:50 PM GMT
    Isn't it great that millions of LGBT lives are affected by the opinions of 9 straight men and women. Let's hope they base this on the constitutionality of it and not their own personal views.
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    Dec 07, 2012 11:07 PM GMT
    About time. Let the elderly Supremes decide our future, why not? Get this shit settled once and for all.
  • Whipmagic

    Posts: 1481

    Dec 08, 2012 12:50 AM GMT
    Import saidexplain to me what this means. . . please


    so they hear the prop 8 and if they do what? what will happen? also, what about the other thing? will this cause a nation-wide legalization of marriage for same-sex couples? whats the significance?


    I'm still trying to cut through the fog, but this is what I understand, as a non-lawyer (if any legal eagle reads this and can correct me, please do so):

    Prop 8: The immediate effect is that the stay of the appeals court decision remains in place, meaning that marriages cannot resume until the case is decided - likely in June. The Supreme Court will first decide whether the proponents of the ballot initiative ("bigots") had standing under Article III of the US Constitution to appeal the circuit court decision - they explicitly requested to be briefed on this question. This is very much legal arcana, but it matters. There is an old precedent that suggests otherwise, and to grant standing in this case, the 9th circuit court sought guidance from the CA supreme court, something that may not sit well with SCOTUS. So we're likely going to hear a lot about this in the oral arguments, but the upshot is that this would allow some conservative justices to allow CA only to go ahead with gay marriage, without ruling on the substance of the case.

    If SCOTUS decides that the bigots had standing, then the next question is whether they will decide this narrowly and say once marriage rights were granted, you can't take them away by referendum just because you hate gays. This would be in line with precedent, mostly the Romer decision from CO, whcih was written by notorious swing voter Justice Kennedy. This is what the 9th circuit court did. But the justices can go further, and proclaim a proclaim a constitutional right to marriage for all. That would be PHANTABULOUS, but I don't see five votes for it. At minimum, though, I think they will dispose of Baker, an old decision from the early seventies, that gay marriage presents no federal issue once and for all.

    DOMA: I think everyone agrees that Section III is toast; that is denying federal benefits like jointly filing tax returns or immigration or pension bebefits for federal workers to coiples who are legally married in states that allow them to marry. But in the order today, SCOTUS threw a bit of a monkey wrench into the legal gears by requesting briefing on two standing issues: first, can BLAG (the bigot attorneys hired by the House GOP) defend this statute, when the DoJ refuses to do so? And, is there anything the court can actually rule on when the executive branch thinks it's unconstitutional? Do they actually have to enforce it as they claim they have to do? Again, legal arcana, and an easy way out for the justices if they don't want to rule on the merits. When it comes to the substance, there is probably no way that Sec III will be found constitutional, but with these justices, you never know. They can also decide to broaden their ruling to Sec II, which allows states not to recognize out-of-state gay marriages. Unlikely that they will, but even if they strike this one down, it just says that the federal government cannot allow non-recognition explicityl, but states can still decide not to recognize gay marriages for out of state under their own souvereignity. In which case they can be sued to force recognition under the Full Faith and Credit clause, and perhaps the Due Process clause, but that's not a slam dunk by any means.

    Sorry for the long post - let's hope for the best!
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    Dec 08, 2012 1:02 AM GMT
    No one will know what the Supreme Court is going to do with these issues until it issues a decision, probably in June before they leave for summer vacation. Because the court itself raised the issue of standing in both cases in the orders it made granting certiorari, they have left themselves an out, so that they could possibly issue decisions which would have little nationwide effect. The conservatives on the court would probably push for such a result, so that no new precedents would result. If only 1 of the more moderate justices goes along with them, it could leave any decision on gay rights for a future day. If the court decides that petitioners in the proposition 8 case of lack standing, that case will be dismissed, the Court of Appeal decision will be treated as if it never existed, and only same sex couples in California will gain the right to be married. In the DOMA (Windsor) case, the court could find that the House of Representatives did not have standing and that the court was precluded from hearing the case because the administration had acquiesced in the decision of the district court. If the court made those findings, Edy Windsor would win her case against the IRS for federal estate taxes, but there would be no precedent set. It would in effect remain a decision of a district court which would not be binding on any other US court.

    I am not predicting these will be the decisions of the court, but we have to recognize that it is a distinct possibility, since the court raised the issues of standing on its own motion, not something it does often.

    So, hope for a just decision, but don't get your hopes up all too high.
  • metta

    Posts: 39107

    Dec 08, 2012 2:54 AM GMT
    Even the other side is happy about it:
    From: Capitol Resource Institute's mission is to educate, advocate, protect, and defend family-friendly policies in California's state legislature and at the local government level.

    http://capitolresource.org

    Good News for Traditional Marriage!

    The U.S. Supreme Court has granted review of the appeal of the 9th Circuit Court's ruling that California's Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. The case will likely be argued in March 2013 with a decision expected by the end of the term in June. The current court order prohibiting any further same-sex marriages in California will remain in effect. "We are pleased the court agreed to hear Proposition 8 and are confident it will be ruled constitutional," said CRI's Karen England.

    The Court also agreed to consider challenges to DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act.

    We ask for you to pray the Lord's will as this case moves forward. CRI will continue to keep you updated on this and other important issues. We appreciate your continued support.

    http://www.alliancealert.org/2012/12/07/u-s-supreme-court-to-hear-prop-8-doma-cases-alliance-defending-freedom-statement-by-jim-campbell/
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    Dec 08, 2012 3:09 AM GMT
    Supreme Court decision:

    Gays marriage is constitutional and all states must allow it and afford those couples with the same equal rights as heterosexual couples.

    Any decision less than that, like just allowing it in California, would be a half-assed way for the highest court to handle this. Get the job done and move on judges.