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Tag Archives: U.S. Supreme Court
When Theodore Boutrous, Jr. hopped on the phone the other day from Washington, he was giddy. “We just got a unanimous ruling at the Supreme Court!” He was referring to the 9-0 decision on behalf of his client, an insurance company fighting a class action case.
I asked Boutrous, who goes by “Ted”, how many times he’s argued in front of the Supreme Court. “Twice, “ he said. “And I’ve got 18 votes!” When I suggested he should retire while he has a perfect record, he emailed back “It’s tempting!”
Since the start of the Prop. 8 debate in federal court four years ago, Boutrous has been overshadowed by his high profile colleague, attorney Theodore Olson. Both are partners at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher (Boutrous in the Los Angeles office, Olson in D.C.) and have worked together for nearly 30 years. Olson is renowned in legal circles as a leading conservative, which makes his pairing with David Boies (whom he faced on opposite sides of the Bush v. Gore case in 2000) so interesting.
Boutrous may not get the “ink” they get, but he’s been an integral part of the legal strategy against Prop. 8.
Andy Pugno, a co-author of Proposition 8 and general counsel at ProtectMarriage.com, is part of the legal team defending the same-sex marriage ban at the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday.
Pugno discusses with KQED's Scott Shafer the major themes of their legal argument as well as what changing public opinion means for the case.
Even though prominent Republicans, Fortune 500 companies and the public is becoming more accepting of same-sex marriage, Pugno said he thinks it will not have much of an effect on the justices.
"I think the justices are accustomed to avoiding being sucked into a political debate," Pugno said. "I think they'll be mindful of their limited role as judges to interpret existing law, not to make new law."
To us non lawyers it looks pretty simple: either gay people can legally marry each other or they can't.
But as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on California's Proposition 8, the justices will weigh multiple options. Some decisions would settle the question throughout the country for the foreseeable future. Some could leave it dangling for years to come.
The high court will hear arguments on the case on Tuesday, with a decision expected in June.
To start with, the court isn't just taking on Prop. 8, the California constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage. It's also tackling the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law that denies federal benefits of marriage to same-sex couples. The court will hear arguments on the DOMA on Wednesday. And the two decisions are intertwined.
In California's June 2000 primary, 61 percent of the electorate voted "yes" on Proposition 22, a measure that amended state law to read, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized " in the state. The state Supreme Court overturned the law in 2008 as discriminatory, opening the way for same-sex couples to get legally married in the state. About 18,000 gay and lesbian couples took advantage of the chance to tie the knot.
But the door that had been opened to same-sex couples slammed shut in November 2008, when voters passed Proposition 8. The measure, a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, passed with 52 percent of the vote.
Gay-marriage advocates immediately filed challenges with the California Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case, and in May 2009, the court upheld Prop. 8, another blow against same-sex marriage.
By Scott Shafer The U.S. Supreme Court could decide by September 25 whether it will review this year's 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision striking down California's Proposition 8, the ban on same-sex marriage. On that day, the justices will … Continue reading
In other Supreme Court news today, the Supreme Court has struck down the Stolen Valor Act, a federal law making it a crime to lie about having received the Medal of Honor and other prized military awards. The court voted … Continue reading
The Legislative Analyst Office has released its recommendations for how California can comply with the U.S. Supreme Court's May ruling requiring the state to "reduce overcrowding in its prisons to 137.5 percent of its 'design capacity' within two … Continue reading
The Supreme Court today nullified a California law that would restrict access for minors to violent video games. AP report below. KQED's Joshua Johnson talked to local State Sen. Leland Yee, the author of the bill, after the ruling came … Continue reading
The U.S. Supreme Court today halted a massive sexual discrimination class action lawsuit against Walmart, reversing a Ninth Circuit decision. The suit involved 1.5 million female employees, but the original plaintiff is Betty Dukes, who worked at a Pittsburg Walmart … Continue reading
WASHINGTON (AP) The Supreme Court on Monday blocked a massive sex discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart on behalf of women who work there. The court ruled unanimously that the lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. cannot proceed as a class action, reversing … Continue reading