California Supreme Court,  Gay Marriage

California Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Proposition 8 But Denies Stay in Gay Marriage Ban

Yes on prop 8 400

The California Supreme Court agreed to decide today the legality of California’s Proposition 8 that restored the traditional definition of marriage (one man and one woman) to the California Constitution.

At the urging of both sponsors and opponents of Proposition 8, the justices granted review of lawsuits challenging the Nov. 4 initiative. Approved by 52 percent of the voters, Prop. 8 restored the definition of marriage – a union of a man and a woman – that the court had overturned May 15.

In today’s order, the justices let Prop. 8 remain in effect, denying a stay that would have allowed county clerks to resume issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples until the case was decided. No hearing has been scheduled.

But, a stay was DENIED, meaning gay marriage in California remains banned.

The order is here. (Pdf)

In other items of interest in the order:

  • The motions to intervene in the cases by Proposition 8 Official Proponents et. al. are GRANTED.
  • Briefs are due on or before December 19, 2008. Replies by January 5, 2009.
  • The issues to be argued and briefed:
  1. Is Proposition 8 invalid because it constitutes a revision of, rather than an amendment to the California Constitution? (see Cal. Const.,art.XVIII, §§ 1-4.)
  2. Does Proposition 8 violate the separation of powers doctrine under the California Constitution?
  3. If Proposition 8 is not unconstitutional, what is its effect, if any, on the marriages of same-sex couples performed before the adoption of Proposition 8?
  • Amicus curiae brief application and brief are due on or before January 15, 2009. Reply to amicus curae brief is due January 21, 2009.
  • Justice Moreno joins the order but voted to stay proposition 8.
  • Justice Kennard would deny these petitions without prejudice to the filing in this court of an appropriate action to determine Proposition 8’s effect, if any, on the marriages of same-sex couples performed before Proposition 8’s adoption.
Gay Marriage

California Supreme Court Justices, from top left, Kathryn Mickle Werdegar, Carlos R. Moreno, Joyce L. Kennard, Marvin Baxter and from lower left, Ming Chin, Chief Justice Ronald M. George and Carol Corrigan

Justices supporting the overturn of the original gay marriage ban are:

  • Chief Justice Ronald George
  • Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar
  • Justice Joyce L. Kennard
  • Justice Carlos R. Moreno

Chief Justice George and Justice Moreno stand for reconfirmation to another twelve year term of office in November 2010.

Justices dissenting from the original decision to end the gay marriage ban are:

  • Justice Marvin Baxter
  • Justice Carol Corrigan
  • Justice Ming Chin

The original May 2008 decision which California Propsoition 8 overturned by Constitutional amendment  is here.(Pdf)

Stay tuned…..

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