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The California Supreme Court just released it's opinion. Written by the Chief Justice, Tani Cantil-Saukauye, the ruling was unanimous, 7-0. The ruling gives the Defendant-Intervenors (aka the Proposition 8 Advocates, aka bigots) in Perry v Brown nee  Perry v Schwarzenegger, the right under California law to appeal Federal District Judge Walker's landmark decision some 14 months ago declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional as a violation of equal protection under the 14th amendment of the US Constitution.

So what does this mean? Nothing and everything.

Nothing, because now the case goes back to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which asked for the California Supreme Court to opine on this question of standing under California law. (It only took them ten months to do so, which is downright harelike, or so i'm told, where the CSC is concerned.) The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals still has to rule on the question of Article Three Standing. Regardless of what California law says, the Ninth Circuit has to decide whether the Defendant-Intervenors have standing under the US Constitution and Federal law.

And yet everything, because it is quite likely that the Ninth Ciruit will indeed rule that they do have Article Three Standing, using the California Supreme Court's decision as a basis for their reasoning.  This means that they will then rule on the merits -- whether to uphold Judge Walker's judgement that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, or set it aside. That decision could come fairly quickly since oral arguments on this topic have already been held -- nearly a year ago now.

Does this mean that marriage equality could be coming to the largest state in the nation any time soon? No. The chance that this will happen is infintesimal.

No matter which way the Ninth Circuit rules on the merits (assuming it does), an appeal will be forthcoming. This appeal could be to an en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit (a randomly selected set of eleven Ninth Circuit judges), or it could go directly to the Supreme Court.  Regardless of where it goes, if the Ninth's decision is in favor of marriage equality a stay is almost certain to be issued.

Even if the decision is appealed directly to the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court would probably not hear the case in its current session; it would wait until it's next session, a year from now, and no decision would be issued until May or June 2013.  That's because

A case must be ready for the Justices to consider by no later than the end of January in order for it to be decided in the current Term

and there would not likely  be sufficient time to prepare the case even assuming the Ninth Circuit issued it's rulings quickly.

Furthermore, if the decision of the Ninth Circuit is in favorss of marriage equality, there is every reason to believe the Defendant-Intervenors will appeal not to the Supreme Court, but to an en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit.  Why? Because that would delay the entire proceedings at least a year. The Prop 8 defenders have absolutely nothing to lose by pursuing this option, since marriage equality would not be in force in California while appeals are heard as discussed above.

Bottom line: This is just one of the many steps on a very long road to the Supreme Court, and there is no guarantee the Supreme Court will rule against Proposition 8 once the case gets there. California's LGBT community chose to climb this staircase instead of shooting for the moon -- a ballot initiative to overturn Proposition 8 once and for all. They will now have to continue to endure the long climb, with only the possibility of a rainbow at the top. Should the case fail, a ballot initiative before 2016 (because of the demographics of the voting population in mid-term elections) seems unlikely.

You can get more analysis of the court's decision (by real experts!) at the Courage Campaign's Prop 8 Trial Tracker website.

10:10 AM PT: Here is the text of the opinion.


10:14 AM PT: Opinion as a PDF

10:15 AM PT: Prop 8 Trial Tracker article on the ruling.

10:23 AM PT: From the ruling.

we respond to the question posed by the Ninth Circuit in the affirmative. In a postelection challenge to a voter-approved initiative measure, the official proponents of the initiative are authorized under California law to appear and assert the state‘s interest in the initiative‘s validity
and to appeal a judgment invalidating the measure when the public officials who ordinarily defend the measure or appeal such a judgment decline to do so.

10:41 AM PT: Adam B's front page article

10:46 AM PT:
Shannon Minter, Legal Director at National Center for Lesbian Rights who led the legal team to win In re Marriage Cases at the California Supreme Court in 2008, sent his reaction in over e-mail:

This is a terrible decision in terms of its impact on California law. The court has given initiative proponents unprecedented and virtually unlimited power, and the people of California will be living with the dangerous consequences of that decision for years to come. That said, the Court’s ruling means that the Ninth Circuit will almost certainly find that the proponents of Prop 8 have standing to pursue the appeal, which means that the Ninth Circuit will now decide whether to affirm or reverse Judge Walker’s decision finding that Prop 8 is unconstitutional. If the Ninth Circuit agrees with Judge Walker, the Supreme Court is very likely to take the case. In the bigger picture, this is good news for same-sex couples in California. Prop 8 is blatantly unconstitutional for many reasons—not only because it deprives same-sex couples of a basic right, but because it was enacted for the sole purpose of targeting a particular group in order to deny them equal protection of the laws.

http://www.prop8trialtracker.com/...

10:53 AM PT: Article by Chris Geidner.  Good read.

11:04 AM PT: Interesting.  From the decision.

we need not decide whether, under California law, the official proponents also possess a particularized interest in a voter-approved initiative‘s validity

So the CSC is completely punting back to the Ninth Circuit on the issue of Article Three Standing, neither supporting nor not-supporting the question.

11:15 AM PT: Opinion as PDF directly

11:38 AM PT: Standing will be an issue a SCOTUS. No doubt about it.

One reporter asked whether AFER’s team could drop the standing issue and just ask the court to consider the case on the merits.  Both Olson and Boies made it very clear that every court has to determine whether a specific case is in its jurisdiction, and that therefore the issue of standing is one that is brought up by the court itself, not the litigants.  Parties can’t waive this discussion—if the court asks them to argue about standing, they must.  They also predicted that the if the case ended up before the US Supreme Court, they believe that court would ask them to address the issue of standing just like the 9th Circuit did.
http://www.prop8trialtracker.com/...

Originally posted to jpmassar on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:05 AM PST.

Also republished by California politics, SFKossacks, Milk Men And Women, and Angry Gays.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Link to PDF of opinion on mirror site (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cooper888, jpmassar, Allogenes

    The opinion itself in PDF format can be downloaded here.

    "So it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend."--Jon Stewart

    by craigkg on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:11:37 AM PST

  •  You are QUICK! (6+ / 0-)

    I was going to post on this but not only did you beat me to it, you did a better job of the analysis than I would have (or did in my quickie diary yesterday).

    What's your secret?

    I really, really don't know what to think regarding how the standing issue will play out at the federal level. There did seem to be a good deal of sympathy from the court (as was the case with CASC) but prior Supreme Court rulings seem to paint a picture that is far less clear.

    Last week, Ari Ezra Waldman discussed the importance of amicus briefs on towleroad.com. He mentioned the case involving an Arizona ballot measure, where his amicus brief was cited in the decision. In that case, the Supreme Court expressed doubts as to the whether ballot measure proponents had Article Three standing. So there's that.

    All I can say now is: we'll see. We know that in the long run we will prevail, because the Constitution is firmly on our side. Getting there will be the challenge.

    •  I wrote the whole thing hours ago. (7+ / 0-)

      (Of course I was fine-tuning it until the last minute...)

      Since everyone who was anyone agreed that they would come down for standing, it didn't seem like a waste of any effort.

    •  They don't call him minuteman for nothin'! (6+ / 0-)
    •  The current decision sheds some interesting light (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cooper888, Adam B, bythesea, skrekk, jpmassar

      particularly on the facts surrounding Article Three standing.

      Based on the discussion of Arizonans for Official English it appears that the question of Article Three standing may well turn on how state law views the question of standing where the state itself refuses to defend a ballot initiative. Today's decision would, I think, provide support for the defendant-intervenors' inevitable contention that they possess such standing.

      Although I might--and am--very much inclined to want to see Prop 8 overturned as expeditiously as possible, even if on a technicality, it's probably best for the case to be decided on its merits. There is also the possibility that if the defendant-intervenors were denied standing, then they entire proceeding (including Walker's decision) would be mooted; in fact that was the defendant-intervenors' Plan B (so to speak). If that seems like a real possibility then I'd rather see the case proceed and be decided on its merits. Based on the laughable defense mounted by the defendant-intervenors, the appeals court should have little difficulty in coming to the correct conclusion.

      •  The case has already been decided on the merits. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jpmassar

        IANAL, but my understanding is that to have the ability to appeal, the loser must show harm which of course in this case there is none to be shown.

        The intervenors have already had their day in court and they lost.

        •  You misunderstand the meaning of "standing" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jpmassar

          It doesn't merely mean particularized harm. There are kinds of harm, explained elsewhere by others far more knowledgeable and articulate than I am. You should certainly read Adam B's frontpage diary.

          In addition, the state court decision (as much as I hate to admit it) does make a fairly compelling case that since the initiative process is part of the legislative process, not permitting to backers of the measure to defend it where the governor and attorney general refuse to do so would be a form of veto not subject to override. Laws passed by a legislature and vetoed by a governor can be restored if the legislature overrides the veto; therefore if the governor in effect vetos an initiative, there needs to be a way to pursue the overriding of that veto.

          On the other hand, you're right. The intervenors had their day in court and lost, not because they didn't have standing but because they didn't have a valid argument.

          •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

            I don't see how this is anything like a veto.   One could argue that in CA, it is easier to pass something through initiatives as there is no possibility of a veto.

            Much like laws made by the legislature can be challenged in the courts, so can laws enacted through initiatives.   I really don't see how this has any analogy to a veto by a governor.

            Here's the problem I have with this ruling.   Initiatives are put on the ballot and enacted through the people not a group.   It is the signatures of voters not the group or coordinators who got the signatures.   How do you know that all those who signed the petition are in favor of appealing this?

            There is no harm here of any kind, unless you consider having your feelings hurt being harmed.

  •  excellent coverage! clear and to the point. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar, cooper888, ExStr8, slksfca

    Major credit to diarist for doing this exactly as it should be done: laying out the issues clearly and understandably, and the roadmap from here.

    The news isn't exactly good but it's not horrible either, and in any case we've got our work cut out for us.  

    "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:25:57 AM PST

  •  one more thing: if the existing oral arguements... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar, ExStr8, craigkg, sfbob, Setsuna Mudo

    ... are used in their entirety, rather than going through that whole exercise again, then the number of self-inflicted bullet holes in the feet of the haters ought to work to our great advantage.  

    "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:27:14 AM PST

  •  I don't mind this ruling. (7+ / 0-)

    I think voter initiatives are an ass-stupid way of making law, that Prop 8 is unconstitutional, and that SCOTUS should impose marriage equality on the whole nation, but I do think that if a law is made on behalf of the people in a process explicitly designed to side-step statewide elected officials, those officials shouldn't have a de facto veto over whatever the people pass.

    That said, I strongly hope the 9th Circuit and SCOTUS strike Prop 8 down.

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:29:10 AM PST

  •  As expected. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar, craigkg, slksfca, bythesea, fizziks

    While it will be a long slog to the endgame, I'm okay with this opinion and letting it be solved by the courts. Granted I'm personally optimistic the decision from SCOTUS will go our way in the current court, but I understand there is risk involved. For example, Obama doesn't win re-election and by the time this reaches SCOTUS the Republicans have had an opportunity to replace one of the justices. That won't bode well.

    On the other hand I'm torn with putting an initiative on the ballot to overturn PropH8 since our rights shouldn't be subject to a majority vote. But, since I'm confident in today's world that it would pass and overturn PropH8... it would be a much quicker remedy and once the cat is out of the bag I doubt the anti marriage equality folks could ever marshall enough votes to overturn (again).

    OWS = "You know what you did. You have our stuff. Give it back." - Gordon Lafer, The Nation

    by cooper888 on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:31:03 AM PST

  •  my diary is done (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cooper888, craigkg, VClib, bythesea, jpmassar

    One note: the parties all agreed that if standing existed under CA law, it existed under federal law. So that's not a question.

    •  I'm not sure a stip to standing by parties is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jpmassar

      binding on either the Ninth or SCOTUS.

      Be that as it may, the problem here is that SCOTUS and all the rest of us can see the DOMA suit, where the House is defending the statute because the Exec refuses, coming, slowly but surely behind this one, and they are already looking at both the state and Federal versions of this slowly stalking the Nine in DC. DOMA is a lot further away, but it is this one's fraternal twin, and this may give SCOTUS two bites at an apple they wish they had never seen.

  •  Pardon me for not being totally up to date, but (0+ / 0-)

    According to the diary, it seems that there are no plans for a ballot initiative to overturn Prop 8 in 2012 in addition to the court battle?  Given the rapidly changing opinions on marriage equality, I'd think it would have a great chance of success.

    If so, are there any specific reasons why they can't or won't put it on the ballot in 2012?

      •  But it basically boils down to, IMHO, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cooper888

        a lack of 'faith', unlike their Maine counterparts.

      •  Thanks for the link (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jpmassar

        It's disappointing because I do like the chances of overturning Prop 8 in 2012 given how close it was in 2008 and how rapidly people are coming around on marriage equality.  

        But I'll respect the decision of those fighting the fight in CA.

        •  Time flies. Remember the WA "everything but (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jpmassar

          the word 'marriage' referendum?  The talk now in our legislature since the sky has not fallen in somehow, is to get on with covering the balance of the distance to the goal, without there being the kind of howling there was for the 'everything but...." referendum.

          The question may well be determined in part by the number of states which may not be able to get the full deal passed, but can perhaps pass the full faith and credit part of it to recognize marriages from states which do, since no state  asks for any straight couples whether they should be recognized when married at the old home stand in another state so great grandma can be there. Another half measure, but it's something to do while we wait for this one and DOMA to get to the Not Quite High Enough (this one's for you, med marijuana folk) Court.

  •  A quick summary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar, cooper888, VClib

    The case for whether the proponents have standing to appeal the Federal District Court's ruling (i.e. Judge Walker's decision invalidating Prop 8) hinged on whether they have standing in the California courts to either to assert the state's interest if the state declines to defend the initiative's constitutionality or whether they have standing via a "sufficient personal 'particularized interest'" in the validity of their ballot measure. The justices found they have the former and therefore declined to rule on the latter (though the tone I perceive makes me believe if they had to have ruled on it, they would not have granted standing on that basis).

    The key ruling of the Court on the former grounds can be summed up from this excerpt:

    Neither the state constitutional provisions relating to the initiative power, nor the statutory provisions relating to the official proponents of an initiative measure, expressly address the question whether, or in what circumstances, the official proponents are authorized to appear in court to defend the validity of an initiative measure the proponents have sponsored. Nonetheless, since the adoption of the initiative power a century ago, decisions of both this court and the Courts of Appeal have repeatedly and uniformly permitted the official proponents of initiative measures to participate as parties — either as interveners or as real
    parties in interest — in both preelection and postelection litigation challenging the initiative measure they have sponsored. Furthermore, the participation by official initiative proponents as formal parties in such litigation has routinely been permitted whether or not the Attorney General or other public officials were also defending the challenged initiative measure in the judicial proceeding in question.
    [...]
    [T]he cases have not only permitted official initiative proponents to appear as formal parties but have also permitted the proponents to appeal from an adverse judgment.

    "So it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend."--Jon Stewart

    by craigkg on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:36:34 AM PST

  •  Oh I just noticed your diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar, craigkg, bythesea

    I just posted one on the exact same topic at almost the exact same time, lol.  Sorry.  (Insert Sheepish Grin).  Tipped and Reccomended.  

    (IMO, yours is better).

    Anyway, I think the standing issue as a matter of California law is irrelevant for purposes of federal law.  If Congress cannot create standing that is outside the traditional three requirements of standing under Article III, I fail to see how California Law can do so in its place.  

    Check out my new blog: http://socalliberal.wordpress.com/

    by SoCalLiberal on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:37:04 AM PST

  •  Teeny tiny bit OT (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar, craigkg, bythesea

    I had the great pleasure of shaking the hand of and thanking Kristin Perry (of Perry vs. Schwarzenegger) for her courage in pursuing this a couple weekends ago.

    She was sitting in the row behind us at the Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour featuring Stephanie Miller, John Fugelsang and Hal Sparks. Hilarious show by the way!!

    OWS = "You know what you did. You have our stuff. Give it back." - Gordon Lafer, The Nation

    by cooper888 on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:46:26 AM PST

  •  Video Response from AFER (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar, bythesea, skrekk

    OWS = "You know what you did. You have our stuff. Give it back." - Gordon Lafer, The Nation

    by cooper888 on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 10:49:27 AM PST

  •  AdamB describes the CASC's decision (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, harrije, Allogenes

    as "binding" on the Ninth. You and other sources say otherwise.

    I only know what real lawyers tell me.

    I wish the real lawyers would stop contradicting each other.

    0: Number of Wall Street bankers arrested over crash of 2008. 3516: Number of Americans arrested protesting Wall Street's fraudulent practices 11/10/2011

    by Scott Wooledge on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:20:28 AM PST

    •  Olson and Boies... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jpmassar, Adam B

      ...our lawyers on the case think it will be binding. The certified questions sent to the CASC indicated the 9th would follow what the CASC says on standing. The only loophole I see it that is the CASC declining to rule upon the "particularized interest" question, but given they accepted the authority to represent that state's interest argument, I don't think the 9th will  weasel out of a merit ruling.

      "So it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend."--Jon Stewart

      by craigkg on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:25:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right. (0+ / 0-)

        The question is whether the plaintiffs will challenge standing at the Supreme Court level, or whether the SCOTUS itself will take it upon itself to say that the DI's have no standing, so go away.

        •  I agree, SCOTUS isn't bound by this (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jpmassar

          by the 9th seemingly is since they certified the question. In theory SCOTUS could reverse/dismiss on the standings grounds, but they would be setting new federal precedent by doing so. And as I pointed out, if SCOTUS were to reverse the 9th's agreement with the CASC via the certified question on the ruling that the proponents' state standing grants them federal standing, the SCOTUS will effectively be affirming Judge Walker's ruling by excepting the ruling out of federal appellate jurisdiction and thereby striking down Prop 8 and restoring marriage equality.

          "So it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend."--Jon Stewart

          by craigkg on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:37:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  But I still don't get it. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            craigkg

            The question was whether under CA state law the DI's could appeal in Federal Court.

            The CSC made no ruling and of course could not as to whether the DI's had Article III Standing, as they said in the decision, IIRC.

            •  So the Ninth Circuit accepts that under CA law (0+ / 0-)

              the DI's have standing to appeal in Federal Court.  Big whoop.

            •  That doesn't make much sense to me either (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jpmassar

              I think Federal Courts should be the arbiters of what has Federal standing. I think it very jurisprudentially odd that a federal court would let state court can define federal rules for standing and that different states within the same circuit could have different answers as to whether a federal court can hear a case involving the state actor depending on whether the state's court would grant standing.

              While I agree in principle with the notion that the DI's should be able to proceed with their case (and the merit route is the best route in my opinion), the way we are getting there is crazy.

              "So it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend."--Jon Stewart

              by craigkg on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:50:18 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Because states can create the interest (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jpmassar

              Diamond v Charles (1986), in a footnote, stated that a state legislature "of course, has the power to create new interests, the invasion of which may confer standing. In such a case, the requirements of Art. III may be met."

      •  And here's the answer (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        craigkg
        One reporter asked whether AFER’s team could drop the standing issue and just ask the court to consider the case on the merits.  Both Olson and Boies made it very clear that every court has to determine whether a specific case is in its jurisdiction, and that therefore the issue of standing is one that is brought up by the court itself, not the litigants.  Parties can’t waive this discussion—if the court asks them to argue about standing, they must.  They also predicted that the if the case ended up before the US Supreme Court, they believe that court would ask them to address the issue of standing just like the 9th Circuit did.

        http://www.prop8trialtracker.com/...

    •  It's not really clear what this means (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      craigkg
      Because this question of whether California's initiative law created standing for an initiative proponents was a novel one under California law, the Ninth Circuit (a federal appellate court) had certified it for consideration by the California Supreme Court, which could speak to this question authoritatively, and agreed to accept its decision as binding

      All I can fathom is that the Ninth Circuit agreed that the CSC had the right to rule about California law.  Well, duh.

      This is more interesting, and seemingly contradicts Boies' quote above:

      Moreover, the parties to the litigation themselves agreed that if standing existed under California law, it exists under federal law as well.

      In any case, that still does say to me that the SCOTUS agrees as well.

    •  Heh (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jpmassar

      This ruling doesn't mean that the Defendant-Intervenors have standing in federal court.  It only means they would theoretically have standing in state court.  

      Check out my new blog: http://socalliberal.wordpress.com/

      by SoCalLiberal on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:51:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think it means more than that. (0+ / 0-)

        It means that the DI's (and future proponents) are able to appeal in Federal court as far as California is concerned, if the state AG chooses not to defend.

        Whether or not the Federal Court accepts that such proponents have standing is another matter.

        But as far as CA is concerned, the proponents now, in some sense, represent CA (since, after all, it is a CA Constitutional provision that is in question).

      •  Ok. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AUBoy2007, jpmassar

        I had a good run navigating the standing labyrinth.

        But I am now throwing in the towel.

        Let me know how it all works out.

        0: Number of Wall Street bankers arrested over crash of 2008. 3516: Number of Americans arrested protesting Wall Street's fraudulent practices 11/10/2011

        by Scott Wooledge on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 12:12:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  But that's their job! (n/t) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jpmassar

      "what did surprise me was their supposition that nobody would notice they were lying"

      by harrije on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 02:18:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Big Lol (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar
    So the CSC is completely punting back to the Ninth Circuit on the issue of Article Three Standing, neither supporting nor not-supporting the question.

    Not surprising.  This has been a nice time delay though.  

    Check out my new blog: http://socalliberal.wordpress.com/

    by SoCalLiberal on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:58:47 AM PST

  •  The big plus here... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Allogenes, jpmassar

    is that an affirmative ruling by the 9th Circuit would mean that Marriage Equality would be binding on the entire Circuit and not just California.  So, Oregon, Washington State, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, Idaho and Montana could be set free!

    And it also means the court record the statement of facts established in the district court gets enshrined and not destroyed.  You'll note that a 3 judge panel of the 9th Circuit actually destroyed the finding of facts for the DADT appeal after  DADT was repealed in the Congress.  This had unfortunate consequences for those who suffered under DADT as it forcloses any avenues of redress.

    --Mr. President, you have to earn my vote every day. Not take it for granted. --

    by chipoliwog on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 02:32:32 PM PST

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