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Tag Archives: supreme court
For almost two hours Supreme Court justices heard arguments on the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The court covered wide ground, once again spending a significant amount of time on the topic of standing. This time the questions were around whether the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), under the leadership of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, had the legal right to sue. As in Proposition 8, the standing question could give the court the option to avoid the case by ruling that it should not have gone through the court system.
The justices also spent time on whether the federal government should be in the marriage business at all, or if that should be left to the states. Several justices also challenged President Barack Obama's 2011 decision to stop upholding DOMA, and what kinds of precedent that sets. Solicitor General Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. often tried to bring up the equal protection clause, and whether it applies to gays and lesbians. However, the court often took that question and went back to federal versus states legal rights.
UC Davis Law Professor Vikram Amar discussed the oral arguments with KQED News.
Amar: If one is going to read tea leaves based on the oral argument, it seems as if the court is not inclined to do something huge, in striking down the laws of 40 states that currently prohibit same-sex marriage. My big take-away from this has always been, the court did not really want to take these cases. … They may end up doing nothing at all, because both cases may get resolved on procedural standing grounds.
The basic idea is courts exist to decide crisp disputes, not just answer questions everyone wants answered. So unless you have somebody who is a plaintiff who has a lot at stake, and you have a defendant who is an appropriate defendant, then the court simply should not be able to render a ruling.
After a long and winding road, Proposition 8 had its day at the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. For more than an hour, the justices of the high court grilled attorneys on California's same-sex marriage ban.
The oral arguments were dominated by the question of standing, which focused on whether the authors of Prop. 8 have the legal right to defend the measure in court when the state refused to do so. Justices also grappled over the meaning of marriage and what role the court system should have in changing long-held traditions.
The questions that justices ask can shed light on their concerns and how they might rule. KQED spoke with Vikram Amar, a professor of law at UC Davis, about what certain arguments could mean.
Amar: I thought there were three, maybe four, maybe five justices already who expressed significant skepticism about whether the sponsors have standing to defend Prop. 8.
Listen to the oral arguments on California's Proposition 8 at the Supreme Court this morning.
Read the transcript:
Read all the of the case filings in the Proposition 8 and DOMA cases.
(AP) Three weeks after voters backed same-sex marriage in three states and defeated a ban in a fourth, the justices met Friday to discuss whether they should deal sooner rather than later with the claim that the Constitution gives people … Continue reading
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Backers of California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overrule a federal appeals court that struck down the measure as unconstitutional. Lawyers for the coalition of religious conservative groups that … Continue reading
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the individual insurance requirement at the heart of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. The 5-4 decision means the huge overhaul, still taking effect, will proceed and pick up momentum over … Continue reading
Which Benefits Will Californians Lose if Court Strikes Down Health Care Act? (And Which Will Remain No Matter What?)
Tomorrow when you wake up, it's widely expected you will be living in a country in which the Affordable Care Act ("health care reform" if you're a Democrat, "Obamacare" if you're a Republican, and "The End of the American Way … Continue reading
California can't set immigration policy. That's the bottom line for Californians seeking to understand how their state could be affected by the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on Arizona's immigration law, according to Kevin Johnson, dean of the University of California, … Continue reading
Yesterday the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declined to grant a rehearing of the Proposition 8 case. In February, a three-judge panel of the court voted 2-1 to uphold a lower court's ruling that the same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional, … Continue reading
San Bruno blast: Federal hearings could affect laws (San Francisco Chronicle) Federal investigators will convene an extraordinary, three-day public hearing this week on the deadly natural gas blast in San Bruno – an inquiry that could affect pipeline safety laws … Continue reading