Prop 8 Ruling: Now What?

You’ve probably heard about the decision by the Ninth Circuit invalidating Proposition 8. But if you’re hungry for more information, I want to simplify your search a bit.

I’ve read a lot of articles today about the decision, and I think Phil Reese of the Washington Blade has the best broad, yet in-depth analysis. And he does it without getting too wonky.  Excerpt:

Official "Vote NO on Prop 8" logo

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In a two-to-one decision, a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional in a federal case challenging California’s marriage ban.

The opinion, authored by Judge Stephen Reinhardt, affirms Judge Vaughn Walker’s 2010 ruling that the law passed by California voters at the ballot violates the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution because it “serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.”

The court also rejected the argument that Judge Walker should have recused himself from the case because of his sexual orientation and relationship status.

Legal experts began to weigh in on the meaning of the decision immediately.

“I think the biggest story is how narrow [the majority decision] really is,” Douglas NeJaime, associate professor at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, told the Blade Tuesday. “Which in some ways I think that might disappoint some folks who were hoping it would expand to more states, but I think in terms of setting it up for a Supreme Court review — either the Supreme Court not taking it, or approving it — for supporters of same-sex marriage, this is actually the most strategically sound way for the case to proceed.”

Legal experts agree that the decision represents a big win for same-sex couples in California, even though it was a narrow decision limited to California. The Ninth Circuit encompasses multiple Western states and some Prop 8 opponents had hoped the court’s decision would impact a wider swath of the country.

He also goes in to the likely next steps, which I find an excellent resource for those of us who wonder what kind of impact this will have across the country.

Read the full article here.

One comment on “Prop 8 Ruling: Now What?

  1. Phil Reese says:

    You’re too sweet!!


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