Friday, May 22, 2009

CA Supreme Court Media Advisory

(In case you missed an episode of "As The Marriage Equality World Turns" here in California.)

MEDIA ADVISORY
Release Number: 21 Release Date: May 22, 2009
Supreme Court to Issue Opinion on
Prop. 8 on Tuesday, May 26

San Francisco—The California Supreme Court today announced that it will issue a written opinion in three cases challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8 at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (Strauss v. Horton, S168047; Tyler v. State of California, S168066; City and County of San Francisco v. Horton, S168078.)

On Tuesday at 10 a.m., the opinion will be available on the California Courts Web site at this link.

Proposition 8, a state ballot initiative, was approved by a majority of voters at the November 4, 2008, California election. Proposition 8 added a new section to the state Constitution which provides that “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

The day after the election, three lawsuits challenging Proposition 8 were filed directly in the California Supreme Court.

On November 19, 2008, the court agreed to hear those cases. The court directed the parties to brief and argue the following issues: (1) Is Proposition 8 invalid because it constitutes a revision of, rather than an amendment to, the California Constitution? (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?

Briefing in the Supreme Court was completed on January 21, 2009. Oral argument was held on March 5, 2009. For more information, including online briefs, see the California Courts Web site.

12 comments:

it's margaret said...

Three couples from the congregation I serve went to California to get married. This will be big news with national ramifications.

Susan, was there any indication which way they will decide?

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

It's impossible to "read the tea leaves" of the oral arguments but that isn't keeping people from doing exactly that ... and I don't hear anyone prediciting they're willing to rule in what would be a "case of first impression" and overturn the initiative directly. They COULD take a middle ground and send it back to the legislature to fix the disconnect between the court's May 2008 ruling and Prop 8 ... anybody's guess.

But I'm not optimistic on this one -- and would be MORE than happy to be wrong!

Michael Ejercito said...

My analysis of the amendment v. revision issue has always been based on the fact that no amendment was struck down as an illegitimate revision on the basis that it eliminated or reduced the scope Article I protections, while amendments that did reduce the scope of Article I protections were upheld as legitimate amendments.

IT said...

I have posts on this and related topics at Gay Married Californian.

As I said below, I feel physically sick.

IT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim said...

It is my general perception that courts do not like to over turn referenda results. That is why I am somewhat pessimistic about this.

Of course if the Court upholds prop 8, it almost will have to uphold a vote to over turn prop 8. And next time, the immoral if not illegal interference from the LDS et al will be something that wont be a stealth advantage. ;-)

FWIW
jimB

Michael Ejercito said...

It is my general perception that courts do not like to over turn referenda results. That is why I am somewhat pessimistic about this.This is true.

This case is far different from In Re Marriage Cases .
Of course if the Court upholds prop 8, it almost will have to uphold a vote to over turn prop 8.Absolutely.

The Court's job is not to write the constitution, just to uphold it.

IT said...

But rights for minorities, not so much?

According to the US Dept of State site on Principles of democracy which is supposed to explain our values to the world:
Majority rule is a means for organizing government and deciding public issues; it is not another road to oppression. Just as no self-appointed group has the right to oppress others, so no majority, even in a democracy, should take away the basic rights and freedoms of a minority group or individual.

• Minorities – whether as a result of ethnic background, religious belief, geographic location, income level, or simply as the losers in elections or political debate – enjoy guaranteed basic human rights that no government, and no majority, elected or not, should remove.

• Minorities need to trust that the government will protect their rights and self-identity. Once this is accomplished, such groups can participate in, and contribute to their country's democratic institutions.....

•Democracies understand that protecting the rights of minorities to uphold cultural identity, social practices, individual consciences, and religious activities is one of their primary tasks.
But apparently none of this counts if you are gay in California. If the court finds against us, gay Californians have no rights except at the whim of the voters. So, as a logical corollary, if the voters were next to decide to imprison us in Manzanar wearing pink triangles, the court would have no problem with it.

If that's not a revision of my Constitutional rights I don't know what is.

Michael Ejercito said...

But rights for minorities, not so much? Only those minority rights that are protected by the Constitution, federal statute, the state constitution, or state statute.
If the court finds against us, gay Californians have no rights except at the whim of the voters. State protections of our rights are subject to the state constitutional amendment process.

Federal protections of our rights are subject to the federal constitutional amendment process.

IT said...

As I said:

So, as a logical corollary, if the voters were next to decide to imprison us in Manzanar wearing pink triangles, the court would have no problem with it.
If true, that's amazing.

john said...

It's now official. As of this morning, the California Constitution is just a scrap of paper that guarantees NO rights to anyone if a majority in any election say otherwise.

Michael Ejercito said...

As of this morning, the California Constitution is just a scrap of paper that guarantees NO rights to anyone if a majority in any election say otherwise.It is a scrap of paper that our courts are sworn to uphold.