Prop 8 heads to US Supreme Court after Federal Appeals Court ruling
On Tuesday night, a US federal appeals court rejected a motion to reconsider an earlier ruling that struck down Proposition 8, a Californian initiative that reversed marriage equality. The expected appeal means that the case now trundles on to the US Supreme Court.
The District Court and Circuit Court of Appeals have thrice now rejected the contentions of Prop 8 supporters. They will hope to fare better before the conservative-leaning US Supreme Court. (I better start taking mountainous quantities of Xanax now to adequately sedate me in anticipation of the colourful denunciations of Supreme Court Judge Antonin Scalia.)
However proponents of marriage equality in California can also be optimistic because today’s ruling comes hot on the heels of President Obama’s recent pronouncement in support of same-sex marriage, and another circuit appeals’ court’s ruling that the federal Defence of Marriage Act (DoMA) was unconstitutional. The US 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston last week ruled that DoMA’s federal prohibition of benefits to same-sex couples in a state (Massachusetts) where gay marriage was legal was unconstitutional.
It’s likely that both the Prop 8 and DoMA cases will be contested all the way to the US Supreme Court, which would put two marriage equality cases on the court’s docket during its next term.
Prop 8 now remains in limbo for 90 days pending an appeal to the US Supreme Court. This means that same-sex marriages in California are still suspended for this period. The US Supreme Court may then accept or decline to hear the case. Should it decline, Prop 8 is no more and the 9th Circuit’s February decision will stand and allow for the State to restore marriage equality.