Prop 8 On Trial





California Supreme Court to hear standing issue

The California Supreme Court announced Wednesday that it would re-enter the legal battle surrounding same-sex marriage and seek to hear further arguments by September.

Perry v. Schwarzenegger
, the federal lawsuit challenging California’s ban on same-sex marriage, stalled last month, when a three judge panel for the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that it did not know whether it had jurisdiction to hear the case.  The panel said that it needed more information on California law.  Specifically, it needed to know whether the official proponents of a successful California ballot measure can defend that measure in court when the state’s normal law enforcement officers refuse to do so.

At the moment, California’s statutes and court decisions do not adequately address this question, so the federal court has requested additional guidance from the California Supreme Court.  On Wednesday, the California court unanimously announced its intent to  answer.  The court also said that it would expedite the matter and require submission of the parties’ first briefs in March.

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View the Ninth Circuit arguments online

C-SPAN’s video archive still hosts a recording of the Perry v. Schwarzenegger arguments held at the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in December.  Click here to access the 2.5-hour session.

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Ninth Circuit to hear and broadcast appellate arguments today

Appellate arguments in Perry v. Schwarzenegger begin at 10am PST today.

The proceedings are expected to last for about two hours. During the first hour, lawyers will argue whether Proposition 8 supporters have standing to appeal U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker’s August decision, which struck down California’s gay marriage ban.  During the second hour, attorneys will address whether the ban violates the U.S. Constitution.

Both sides expect to weather vigorous questioning from a three-judge panel featuring Ninth Circuit judges Stephen Reinhardt, Michael Hawkins, and N. Randy Smith.

The panel will sit in Courtroom One of the James R. Browning U.S. Courthouse in San Francisco.  Public seating will not be available there.  However, several media outlets, law schools, and courthouses are hosting live broadcasts of the proceedings.  Please click below for details on how to attend or tune in.

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Appellate briefs and exhibits

In anticipation of today’s oral arguments in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, Prop 8 on Trial is posting copies of the parties’ appellate briefs. Attorneys filed these documents in September, October, and November of this year.  During arguments today, three Ninth Circuit judges will follow-up on questions either raised by or not addressed by these documents.

Please click below to access these multi-media elements.

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