The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Prop 8 reaches Supreme Court

Prop 8 reaches Supreme Court
Courtesy of MCT

The U.S. Supreme Court was divided on its opinion of the constitutionality and validity of the case for California’s Proposition 8 Tuesday in the potentially landmark case, Hollingsworth v. Perry.

The questions presented before the court regarded two things: the legal standing of the petitioners of Proposition 8 to appeal their case to the federal court and the constitutionality of the proposition itself under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

Testing the standing ground

The justices were fairly concerned with the first question of the case.

In his opening argument, Proposition 8 attorney Charles Cooper began with an anecdote citing a New York court’s remark about same-sex marriage as an “accepted truth for almost everyone who ever lived in any society in which marriage existed,” when Chief Justice John Roberts interrupted Cooper mid-sentence to move on to the “standing” issue.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg questioned whether the court has ever given standing to proponents of a ballot initiative such as Proposition 8.

“The proponents are interested in getting it on the ballot and seeing that all of the proper procedures are followed,” Ginsburg said. “But once it’s passed, they have no proprietary interest in it. It’s law for them just as it is for everyone else, so how are they distinguishable from the California citizenry in general?”

According to SCOTUS blogger Tom Goldstein, at least five justices “seriously doubt” if the proponents of Proposition 8 have the legal grounds to fight for the initiative on behalf of California because of the history of Hollingsworth v. Perry.

The road to the Supreme Court

Proposition 8 is a ballot initiative California voters approved in November 2008, which amended the California constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman, overturning a California Supreme Court decision made earlier that year, which ruled that same-sex couples have a right to marry.

Two same-sex couples – Kristin M. Perry and Sandra B. Stier, and Paul T. Katami and Jeffrey J. Zarrillo – sued the California government in May 2009, which declined to defend the proposition, and Dennis Hollingsworth of intervened on behalf of the state.

Judge Vaughn Walker of the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California ruled that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Hollingsworth appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which also ruled that the proposition was unconstitutional. Hollingsworth then appealed to the Supreme Court in July 2012, which granted him a writ of certiorari to present his case.

If the justices decide there is no standing, they would not need to resolve issue of constitutionality. It would effectively “vacate,” or erase, the decision of the Ninth Circuit court but uphold Judge Walker’s ruling.

Other possible outcomes

According to SCOTUS blog writer Marty Lederman, there are four other outcomes the court may decide.

The first would please Proposition 8 proponents and uphold its constitutionality, while the second would rule that it is unconstitutional for any state to discriminate against same-sex couples under the 14th Amendment.

The third outcome, the “eight-state solution” supported by the United States, would require states already providing same-sex couples the same benefits and privileges as opposite-sex couples to award marriage status to same-sex couples.

The fourth possible ruling could invalidate an initiative such as Proposition 8 in California only, arguing that if a state offers the same benefits and privileges to same-sex couples as opposite-sex couples, and has at one point given same-sex couples the right to marriage, there is no justification to invalidate that right.

The judges will not make a decision before hearing the arguments for and against the Defense of Marriage Act today, in United States v. Windsor. DOMA denies many federal benefits to same-sex couples.

Supreme Court hears Prop. 8 and DOMA arguments

The Supreme Court of the United States hear oral arguments for Prop 8 on Tuesday March 26 and DOMA Wednesday March 27. Supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage rally in Washington D.C. to witness this historic moment.

Storified by Daily Sundial· Tue, Mar 26 2013 20:36:34

#SCOTUS several hundred people now waiting in snow to get into Supreme Court. #MarriageEquality #DOMA #equality <a href="" class=""></a>john zangas
People camped outside of US Supreme Court in the snow last night, in line for DOMA & Prop 8 hearings on tues & wed <a href="" class=""></a>Jenna Pope
#prop8 line forming @#supremecourt for Tues arguments. Pizzas delivered. Worries about tonite’s forecast: Snow. <a href="" class=""></a>Scott Shafer
#SCOTUS #Prop8 RT @jason_wonacott: It’s official line has crossed the street. <a href="" class=""></a>Ryan J. Reilly
The Davis building in downtown Dallas lit up tonight for the DOMA and Prop 8 cases this week. <a href="" class=""></a>Michael Li
Chief Justice’s lesbian cousin will attend Prop. 8 hearing <a href="" class=""></a>Huffington Post
1 day until the US #MarriageMarch http://<a href="" class=""></a> over a million marched for marriage in France today! http://<a href="" class=""></a>NOM
Tuesday Prop 8. Wednesday DOMA. #SCOTUS hears historic #LGBT cases. Check out this piece from @PeteWilliamsNBC… http://<a href="" class=""></a>OUT@NBCUniversal
Facebook Turns Red as SCOTUS Marriage Equality Hearings BeginMarriage equality activists are protesting outside the Supreme Court Tuesday, as the nation’s highest court begins two days of hearings a…
Secular arguments opposing #ssm on NPR http://<a href="" class=""></a>NOM
"We are an American family." Same-sex parents & their daughters address rally on SCOTUS steps @GuardianUS @FriendsUCC http://<a href="" class=""></a>Dan De Leon
Pro family march just showed up at #scotus http://<a href="" class=""></a>Allie Morris
Sketch of Rob Reiner, far left, in #SCOTUS cafeteria http://<a href="" class=""></a>Arthur Lien
Police are trying to get people on the sidewalks, only one of 4 lanes clear at #scotus http://<a href="" class=""><a href="" class=""></a></a>Allie Morris
Such a big week for the #LGBT community! #SupremeCourt hearing cases against the Defense Of Marriage Act (which legally defines marriage as an act between a man and a woman) and #Prop8 (which made #gaymarriage illegal in #California).Nick ? Minaj
Gay marriage supporters aren’t the only ones with creativity #Scotus http://<a href="" class=""></a>Joseph Ax
Equality for ALL! Women can love women. Men can love men. You have no right to tell someone who they can carry & who they can’t! I mean, straight couples wanna bitch that its "not right" for gay marriage, but send me ya’lls divorce rates of the past years, and then hit me up. ? #Equality #GayMarriage #NOH8 #Prop8 #Beyonce #Ring #Marriage #Protest #Love #EqualityForAll #Cute’Orlando Silva
Let your voices be heard and may this wall of discrimination be demolished! #noh8 #hrc #unitedformarriage #equality #bornthisway #expressyourself #love #prop8 #repost #lgbt #prideJowie Rey
Breaking: key vote Kennedy VERY uncomfortable striking down #prop8. Suggests dismissing case. Would leave in place 9th Cir pro-#ssm ruling.SCOTUSblog
Same-sex marriage opponents on Forst St. #SCOTUS #Prop8 http://<a href="" class=""></a>Gabriel Arana
Arguments done. #scotus won’t uphold or strike down #prop8 bc Kennedy thinks it is too soon to rule on #ssm. #prop8 will stay invalidated.SCOTUSblog
Charles Cooper, who argued for proponents of Proposition 8. #SCOTUS http://<a href="" class=""></a>Alex Leary
Boies and Olson outside #Scotus talking to the press. http://<a href="" class=""></a>Joseph Ax
Supreme Court appears split on Prop. 8, broad gay marriage ruling http://<a href="" class=""></a>Los Angeles Times
NOM hosts March for Marriage rally opposing same-sex marriage and supporting the traditionally recognized definition of marriage between one man and one woman.
The March for Marriage is today! For updates on Twitter follow @NOMupdate or #MarchforMarriage or visit <a href="" class=""></a>.Johnnette Benkovic
Marriage March | National Organization for MarriageJoin us for the March for Marriage to the Supreme Court on March 26, 2013!
"Every child deserves a Mom & Dad!" #MarchforMarriage #SCOTUS #US #DC #Marriage <a href="" class=""></a>Catholic News Agency
Marching for Marriage, for children, for families. #marchformarriage #cathphilly <a href="" class=""></a>Christine S. Rizzo
Support for traditional marriage will grow, a recent college grad asserts hopefully #marchformarriage <a href="" class=""></a>Kathryn Jean Lopez
#marchformarriage <a href="" class=""></a>kaitlin kotwicki
#genlife missionaries are in DC marching with thousands – children need & deserve a mom & a dad! #marchformarriage <a href="" class=""></a>Generation Life
Pic: Huge crowds at the #MarchforMarriage in DC, standing up to defend marriage! <a href="" class=""></a>Michelle Bauman
Diverse crowd at #marchformarriage <a href="" class=""></a>daveweigel
Changing the definition of marriage would be devastating to all our families — Rev Bill Owens #marchformarriageKathryn Jean Lopez
Attorneys fighting to protect #Prop8 answering #media questions after #SCOTUS #marriage – #marchformarriage <a href="" class=""></a>Brad K
Politicians weigh in on twitter. The majority of members of congress who voiced their opinion on twitter came out in support of marriage equality.
Every American should be able to marry the person they love. #LoveIsLove, http://<a href="" class=""></a>Barack Obama
41 states affirm that marriage is between a man and a woman. Are we going to tell them their voices don’t count?Cong. Tim Huelskamp
Doug Mainwaring speaking at rally against ssm speaking for #marchformarriageVikki Klask
I stand w/ civil rights advocates & the nation to call for an end to #DOMA & achieve marriage equality for all Americans #SCOTUS #Prop8Richard Blumenthal
Redefining marriage would deny as a matter of policy the ideal that a child needs a mom and a dad. #DOMACong. Tim Huelskamp
Surging crowds at #SCOTUS underscore the sense of history about the #freedomtomarry questions on the Court’s docketSen. Patrick Leahy
I support equal rights & respect for all Americans. I will continue working to overturn DOMA. #SCOTUS #prop8 #p2 http://<a href="" class=""></a>Lloyd Doggett
Couples who vow to care for each other for a lifetime should be treated equally under the law. http://<a href="" class=""></a>Charles Rangel
It is wrong for #SCOTUS to silence democratic debate and redefine marriage by judicial fiat.Cong. Tim Huelskamp
Oral arguments finished at Supreme Court on #Prop8. I believe everyone in America deserves equality. The time is now. #MarriageEqualityGary Peters
Truly wish we had cameras in the courtroom for #Prop8 & #DOMA hearings this week. Such a missed opportunity for the world to witness historyKirsten Gillibrand
Engraved on the front of #SCOTUS are the words "#Equal #Justice Under Law" — it’s time our nation recognizes the right to #marriage for allLois Capps
Today’s the day! I believe the Court will uphold our country’s great promise of ensuring freedom and liberty for all. #endprop8 #endDOMAKyrsten Sinema
US Supreme Court wrapped up arguments on Prop 8, let us hope that justice, equality and dignity prevail.Jackie Speier
Welcome to all visiting DC for #marchformarriage. Thanks for making the trip to demonstrate your commitment to traditional marriage.Jim_Jordan
Proud to support marriage equality as SCOTUS hears challenges to #Prop8 & discriminatory #DOMA. #UnitedforMarriage http://<a href="" class=""></a>Sen Dianne Feinstein
Our country is ready for #marriageequality. #unitedformarriage RT if you agree!Rep. Barbara Lee
It’s not about #StatesRights it’s about #HumanRights #Equality is guaranteed under the Constitution http://<a href="" class=""></a>US Rep E.B.Johnson
This is a pivotal moment for civil rights as #SCOTUS reviews challenges to #Prop8 and #DOMA #UnitedForMarriageRep.George Miller
Historic day as #SCOTUS heard #SSM oral argument. I joined others in legal brief 2 correct this injustice + restore constitutional freedomsIleana Ros-Lehtinen
Denying committed couples the right to marry is unacceptable. Marriage equality must be a constitutional right for all Americans.Brian Schatz
I support #MarriageEquality. I look fwd 2 the #SupremeCourt declaring that discriminatory laws have no place in America. #Time4MarriageWendy Greuel
Eagerly awaiting news from today’s Supreme Court hearing on #Prop8. #UnitedForMarriageChelsea Clinton
5 possible outcomes of the Calif. Prop. 8 case Supreme Court will weigh <a href="" class=""></a>CBS News
Prop 8 and DOMA: Facts of the caseswashingtonpost
Andrew Pugno, General Counsel for talks about SCOTUS Prop 8 HearingKQEDnews
Church and State: The Same-Sex Marriage Debatepbsnewshour
Live blogs

Live Blog: Supreme Court Weighs Gay MarriageThe case’s official name is Hollingsworth v. Perry: Kristin Perry and allies want the court to strike down California’s Proposition 8 ban…
Live Blog: Tuesday’s Gay Marriage Arguments at Supreme Court – Bloomberg8:20 a.m. A big development in this debate in recent weeks as been the increasing support for gay marriage, notably among Republican lawm…
CSUN responses on social media
This week is a very important week for the gay and lesbian identities within our community as the issue of… http://<a href="" class=""></a>CSUN LGBTA
Archbishop Cordileone: Marriage matters to kids …. Society should help ensure children can get what they deserve #marchformarriageKathryn Jean Lopez
Voices against #DOMA range from business, faith, politicians, doctors, historians & more! <a href="" class="">…</a>Ty Halen
All eyes on #SCOTUS – today is about equality! Overturn this hateful #prop8 !Elizabeth
#SCOTUS hearing arguments for #prop8 today and #DOMA tomorrow. What are your opinions on this historic ruling?Daily Sundial
@dailysundial should stay the way it is….Arthur C
The big fear I see from the anti-gay movement is that if gay people are allowed to marry, everyone will want to be gay! Because logic!Phil
Show your support of Marriage Equality by downloading and setting the Red Equality symbol as your profile picture. http://<a href="" class=""></a>CSUN LGBTA
Equality for love! #gay #lesbian #freedom #marriage #equalityhippieraka
Saw 58 people at #CSUN wearing red today ^^ and myself included. 🙂 #Prop8 #pride #redHerson Soto

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