Next Stage in Prop. 8 Case Set for Sept. 6


The next stage in California’s Proposition 8 court case is set for September 6 when the Supreme Court of California will hear arguments on whether Prop. 8 supporters have legal standing under state law to appeal the overturning of California’s gay marriage ban.

Following federal Judge Vaughn Walker’s August 2010 ruling that California’s 2008 voter enacted ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, proponents quickly filed an appeal with the 9th Circuit. However, Vaughn Walker’s original ruling raised serious doubts as to whether Prop. 8 supporters, due to the particulars of how they came to defend the same-sex marriage ban, have the right to appeal.

Prop. 8 defenders, a coalition of so-called traditional marriage groups headed by Protect Marriage, were allowed to intervene in the original Proposition 8 trial when California’s then-attorney general and then-governor refused to defend the voter enacted gay marriage ban in court. This courtesy, however, did not grant Protect Marriage the automatic right to appeal.

The 9th Circuit agreed to take on this case on the provision that Prop. 8 supporters prove they have legal standing. However, in a move that seemed to indicate the 9th Circuit was in doubt as to whether Proposition 8 supporters have standing under federal law, the 9th Circuit in February punted the issue back to the California Supreme Court, asking the court to determine if there is any state law that would grant Prop. 8 supporters a right to appeal.

The Supreme Court took up the issue and has now announced it will hear oral arguments in September. From there the court will advise the 9th Circuit on whether Proposition 8 supporters have the right to appeal. If it is determined that state law does not provide supporters with such a right, it is expected the 9th Circuit will dismiss the appeal. A time frame for how long it will take for California’s supreme court to come back with that decision has not been given, though the expectation is they will return a decision before Christmas so as to allow the 9th Circuit to issue its decision early in 2012. This is, of course, only a tentative scale.

Even if it is determined that Proposition 8 proponents do not have legal standing to appeal in this particular case, a parallel suit has now been brought against Judge Vaughn Walker with Proposition 8 supporters charging that, because Walker was in a same-sex relationship at the time of the Proposition 8 trial, he stood to gain from the outcome of the trial and therefore his decision overturning California’s gay marriage ban should be invalidated.

Chief Judge James Ware, in a spiky June 14 decision, denied Proposition 8 supporters a motion to vacate the ruling, saying there was no evidence Vaughn Walker had ruled to overturn the ban so that he could specifically gain from the decision, and that a ruling vacating the decision on grounds of the judge’s sexuality would have wider implications for judges from other minority groups. Proposition 8 supporters on June 23  filed an appeal with the 9th Circuit.

As such, the Proposition 8 court case still seems destined for the United States Supreme Court.

Related Reading:

Judge Denies Motion to Vacate Prop. 8 Ruling

Bill Giving Prop. 8 Backers Standing to Appeal Fails

Cali. AG: Prop 8 Backers Should Not Have Standing to Appeal


Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to angela n.


W. C
W. Cabout a year ago


William C
William Cabout a year ago

Thank you.

Kevin N.
Kevin N.7 years ago

Considering the extremely long Federa precedent, even if the California Supreme Court finds standing for an appeal of a cil right s case where the Article III state parties agreed with the Federal Court, the appeal must be dismissed. In all other cases conferring standing for individuals, there was always on Artile III (executor branch representative. In certain circumstances, the Court has evel allowed the legislature to step in. But here, where the state has spoken that it agreed with the federal, I know that is is ABHORENT AND DISGUSTING to me that FocusOnFamily is trying to but this appeal. goodwill Lie would lead the charge that California is not up for sale.

Winn Adams
Winn A7 years ago

If you don't support Gay Marriage then Don't Marry a Gay Person. Live and let live and get over it already. Gay Marriage should be legal in EVERY State and it should have happened at least 100 years ago.

Lynne B.
Lynne Buckley7 years ago

Prop 8 isn't worth supporting. The case made it plain that the argument for keeping prop 8 came down to 'because I say so.' Sorry, it's not a reason to keep discrimination in the legislation. Everyone should have the right to marry the person that they love.

Barbara S.

The case against the judge has no merit - otherwise, NO JUDGE would be able to preside over trials and case Law decisions. And NO JURY MEMBER would be allowed to sit in the box.

When a Law is decided on its merits, it doesn't matter if you're a man or woman, straight or gay, because Equality is just that - EQUALITY.

I personally detest the way fear and religion are used to justify many unjust ideas, but that doesn't mean that we should burn any religious books, even if we don't agree with their contents. That's just as childish and unfair as the religious books being taken literally in a world that has every color variation of the rainbow, as well as every shade of gray.

Good grief! Are we never going to grow up enough to accept people for their intelligence and the goodness in their hearts??

Linda T.
Linda T7 years ago

Lets hope the discriminators are defeated once and for all.

Karen & Edward O.
Karen and Ed O7 years ago

Oh lord, I hope this is the end of it. Please, please Supreme Court strike this down once and for all. Oh, oh, it just occurred to me. These hate groups will probably take it to the US Supreme Court and then it's anyone's guess.

Gary Stewart
Gary Stewart7 years ago

So I assume the "Family" value organizations are hoping that all the Supreme court judges are gay and non-Christian so that if they decide in their favor nobody can appeal on the basis they were biased against homosexuals?

Fred Krohn
Fred Krohn7 years ago

'Proposition H8' should be used for tinder-paper under the logs in a fireplace and stricken from the lawbooks. The politicians who came up with it should be barred from all government and political employ for life. Nothing but immoral theocratic intrusion. Un-American.

The Bible is probably one of the most mistranslated books in history. The Councils of Nicæa and Trent, King James, and a host of other scummy sleazebags with political and pseudo-moral objectives have infiltrated their political views into the book. The whole homophobia racket has nothing to do with 'Yeshua bin Yusef' and everything to do with both, forcing the followers to pump out new 'faithful' children to swell the ranks, and satisfying individual prejudices of the perverts in charge of any specific translation or compiling effort. You can find 'justification' for anything you want by misquoting the Bible; thus it cannot convince me that pure garbage like homophobia is 'right' in any form. Down with Prop H8!