A federal appeals court yesterday declined a request to review its recent ruling on Proposition 8, the ban on same-sex marriage in California that was approved by voters, greatly increasing the chances that the Supreme Court will take up the issue. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the law against same-sex marriage in a 2-1 decision in February. The request to review the decision failed to get the support of a majority of the full circuit. Proposition 8 supporters now have 90 days to request that the Supreme Court reviews the case.
EEquality California board member David Codell said in a press release, “Two federal courts in this case have affirmed what we know to be true — that Proposition 8 seriously infringes on the guarantee of equal protection and serves no legitimate state interest. We agree with the majority of the judges of the Ninth Circuit that there was no need to rehear this case because the decision to strike down Proposition 8 rested on solid constitutional principles.”
Proposition 8 passed in 2008. Following the referendum’s passage, supporters of same-sex marriage brought together lawyers David Boies and Theodore Olsen, famous for arguing on opposite sides in Bush v. Gore, to try the case before the 9th circuit. Many legal experts have said the Supreme Court is now very likely to review the case. Columbia law professor Suzanne B. Goldberg told reporters from the New York Times, “these two decisions [the 9th circuit decision and a recent decision in Boston] amount to a major step in the national conversation about marriage rights for same-sex couples and the development of the law. It would be shocking if the Supreme Court sidestepped both of them.”
New York Times 6/5/12; EQCA Press Release 6/5/12; Politico 6/5/12