Asked and Answered: No!

Comments (4)

  Without comment, the State Supreme Court is rejecting a request by attorneys fighting Prop. 8 to speed up its timeline for deciding a key legal question. When the Supreme Court agreed last month to answer the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals question of whether state law gives sponsors of ballot measures the legal authority to defend an initiative when no one else will, it was clear the legal fate of Prop. 8 would be delayed by 10 months or more. So, attorneys representing the two same sex couples fighting Prop. 8 asked the Supreme Court to move up its schedule for briefing and oral arguments, which will not be held before September.

    Tuesday the Supreme Court denied that request.  Combined with yesterday's suggestion by A.G. Kamala Harris that the 9th Circuit lift its stay on Judge Walker's ruling, (a completely different issue), the efforts represent a push by supporters of same sex marriage to open the door to marriage more quickly. It seems unlikely any of these efforts will be successful, since few if any of the judges involved want this case expedited.

   Indeed, it's not inconceivable that Prop. 8 will be reversed by California voters before it ever reaches the U.S. Supreme Court -- an outcome that would no doubt disappoint attorneys David Boies and Ted Olson but avoid a possible loss at the Supreme Court level.

   That said, it might be hard to raise funds for a new ballot measure while the case is still pending. In other words, relax -- it's going to be a while before this thing is settled.

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  • Julie Cason

    “In other words, relax — it’s going to be a while before this thing is settled.”

    Relax? Um, really? I would venture to guess that it’s not your civil rights at stake….

  • Scott Shafer

    Julie — thank you for your comment. I did not mean to diminish the importance of anyone’s civil rights and I apologize if it seemed that way. I was merely trying to say that despite efforts to expedite this issue through the legal system, it seems likely to be on a slow track.

  • Fernando Orlandi

    If I understand correctly, a stay on a ruling is warranted when 1) The opposing party is being irreparably harmed and 2) the appeal is likely to succeed.
    If same-sex marriages resume, no harm is being suffered by the proponents of Proposition 8; on the contrary, if same-sex marriages do not resume, same-sex couples continue to be harmed as they are being denied what every opposite-sex couple take for granted: the right to marry who they love.
    As for the likelihood that the proponents of same-sex marriage will succeed in their appeal, they will not. Either it will be found that the they do not have standing to appeal, or, if they do, the US 9th Circuit Court has already heard the case, and it seemed clear from the hearing that Proposition 8 was going to be tossed out; what wasn’t clear was how far the ruling would go, weather or not it would apply only to California’s Proposition 8, or more broadly. So, if, if fact, Proposition 8 will be struck down one way or another, the Judges of the 9th Circuit Appeal Court should lift the stay and let the marriage resume. I hope they will have the courage to do so, even if their decision may be reversed by the US Supreme Court.

  • David

    Relax? I agree with Julie. I think this means heightened anger and frustration. Justice delayed is justice denied. I hoped Scott Shafer knew of the direct impact this decision has on real people’s lives and happiness.