CA Supreme Court agrees to hear Prop 8 challenge

by on November 19, 2008  •  In Marriage

In a just-released order, the California Supreme Court agreed to hear the challenges to Prop 8 filed by a group of lgbt rights organizations. However, it refused to stay the implementation of Prop 8. In so doing, it followed the recommendation of the CA Attorney General's office.

The court will now fully consider the argument that the measure was not properly certified as an amendment to the state constitution, but rather should have gone through a lengthier process established for revisions to the constitution. The court will also decide the status of marriages between same-sex couples that occurred after the court's May decision granting equal marriage rights and before election day.

The court's statement:

The California Supreme Court today denied requests to stay the enforcement or implementation of Proposition 8, and at the same time agreed to decide several issues arising out of the passage of Proposition 8. The court’s order, issued in the first three cases that had been filed directly in the state’s highest court challenging the validity of Proposition 8, directed the parties to brief and argue three 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?

Briefs from Prop 8 supporters are due December 19 and from the lgbt groups on January 5. Oral argument could be scheduled as early as March.  The court's own rules require it to issue an opinion within 90 days after argument, so the decision may well be announced in June.


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