Supreme Court Takes on Prop. 8, DOMA
More than four years after California voters approved Proposition 8, the state’s ban on same-sex marriage received a full hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court. It’s been a long and winding road to the high court – a road paved with joy, anger, euphoria and fear.
KQED and the California Report are providing full coverage of the Proposition 8 and DOMA hearings.
Four days before the U.S. Supreme Court met to ostensibly discuss California's Proposition 8, a Nevada District Court issued a ruling upholding that state's ban on same-sex marriage. The ruling by Judge Robert C. Jones, a George W. Bush appointee, holds that Nevada's law does not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment.
That decision is at odds with Judge Vaughn Walker's 2010 decision that struck down Prop. 8 as a violation of both the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses. Judge Walker also found that marriage is a fundamental right protected by the U.S. Constitution.
Lambda Legal, which represented the 16 plaintiffs in Nevada, will appeal Judge Jones' decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Same-sex marriage was not on the U.S. Supreme Court's list of orders when it was released at about 9:30 a.m. That means we'll have to wait until Friday to find out if the high court will review the case concerning Prop 8, California's voter-approved ban on gay marriage.
An appeals court previously upheld a lower court's ruling that invalidated Proposition 8. That is one of two laws involving same-sex marriage that the high court may review next spring. The court is also weighing overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, a federal law that defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman for the purposes of legal recognition and receipt of benefits, such as the ability to file a joint tax return.
The Supreme Court will announce whether or not it will review the cases in a list of orders. "The vast majority of cases filed in the Supreme Court are disposed of summarily by unsigned orders," the Supreme Court website states. "Such an order will, for example, deny a petition… without comment. Regularly scheduled lists of orders are issued on each Monday that the Court sits, but 'miscellaneous' orders may be issued in individual cases at any time."
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