Sunday, November 25, 2012

News from the Supremes? (Updated)

The Supreme Court was supposed to discuss in conference last week whether or not to hear cases on three marriage-equality issues:
  • Whether California's Proposition 8, passed in 2008, unfairly rescinded the right to marry (both district and circuit courts have found that it did)
  • Whether Clause 3 of DOMA, the mis-named Defense of Marriage Act, is constitutional in banning federal recognition of legally married same sex couples (three different circuit courts have found it is not)
  • Whether Arizona acted constitutionally in removing partner benefits from same sex couples.

We should hear more about whether they will hear these cases tomorrow. According to Prop8Trial Tracker, the conference was rescheduled to Friday 30 Nov, and we should hear in a week.

 If they decide NOT to hear the Prop 8 case (technically, if they "deny cert") then marriage will again be equally accessible in the Golden State. Because the Prop 8 appeal to the 9th circuit was found on very narrow grounds applicable only to CA, it is considered a good bet that the Supreme Court will let that decision stand.  And don't give me the "will of the people" crap:  the Constitution exists in part to protect minorities from the tyranny of the majority.  After all, if you had put Jim Crow laws to a popular vote, there would still be drinking fountains labeled "whites only" in the South.  

The DOMA cases are very good candidates for a Court hearing because it is a substantive federal question and the law as it stands now differs in different circuits (some finding DOMA clause 3 unconstitutional).

Not sure what the tea leaves are on the AZ case.


Anonymous said...

The date for the conference got moved to 11/30. See here:


IT said...

Yes, just saw that. Thanks Andrew.

JCF said...

Did you know that FoJ is THE news source for me on this subject? [i.e., all my other usual gay news sites got bupkus. I was left wondering why I *wasn't* hearing about Prop8 on them!]

IT said...

you should read Gay Married californian. I publish MUCH more on that site.

JCF said...

Oh, I do, IT. I do.